The Zimbabwe Association of Communication Radio Stations (Zacras) has activated community radio initiatives to report on vote irregularities during and after the Monday elections.
The country holds general elections on Monday, and Zacras said its members across the country will play a crucial role in election coverage despite not having operating licenses.
“During polling day community radio initiatives shall be used to monitor and observe to ensure irregularities are reported and known for corrective measures,” said Zacras acting national co-ordinator Kudzai Kwangari.
“They present a citizen-based monitoring mechanism which puts pressure on authorities to perform. Post polling date, community radio initiatives will ensure that citizens remain engaged to be able to demand delivery from elected officials through sustained social accountability intervention.”
Since 2001, Zacras has been waiting for community radio station licences, but the government has been reluctant to issue them.
However, Zacras has decided to go it alone, with the majority of its members now operating online after waiting in vain to be licensed.
Kwangari said community radio stations, which stood ready to broadcast within their communities once the ministry calls for applications and finalise the process, will play a crucial role during the elections.
“Community radio initiatives will play a telling role in this election by ensuring informed citizenry in this election through the utilisation of various communication platforms including internet and mobile based ones.
“In 22 districts these facilities, regardless of the fact that they are yet to be licenced, have been engaged in constituency development talk shows where they are facilitating interaction between aspiring candidates and citizens,” Kwangari added.
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