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Zimbabwe's First Privately Owned Radio Station Hits Airwaves

Zimbabwe’s first privately owned commercial radio station, Zi-FM Stereo, officially hit the airwaves Wednesday, promising to fill a void in the country’s media entertainment and news arena.

Zi-FM Stereo owner, former ZBC broadcaster Supa Mandiwanzira of AB Communications, said the station will be geared towards dishing out various music genres and relevant news and will changeZimbabwe's media landscape.

"Our radio is going to be driven by our audiences, it's going to be highly interactive we are going to make sure what the people want to hear and listen to is what we will play, in terms of music and in terms of discussions we will focus on the issues that are topical and relevent to the people of Zimbabwe," said Mandiwanzira.

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Zi-FM will be broadcasting in Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Nyanga, Beitbridge, among areas.

Another commercial station, Star FM Radio, owned by Zimbabwe Newspapers Group was launched last month after being awarded a broadcasting license by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.

The licensing of the two broadcasters last year, ahead of other applicants, sparked demands for the dissolution of the licensing authority which was accused of favoring those linked to the former ruling party, Zanu PF.

When pressed to comment on the controversy surrounding the awarding of a commercial licence to ZiFM and its political links, Mandiwanzira said content would be largely determined by the market.

"No media institute is not politically aligned ... We are very glad that Zi-FM is politically aligned to the government of Zimbabwe which is the one that has licensed us," he said.