Mabvuku/Tafara legislator James Maridadi, who is a former radio personality, has challenged radio stations in the country to prove that they are making money.
He said that those that boasted that they were making a profit were not paying their workers, so they could not say they were making money when they could not pay their workers.
He said there was no way Zimbabwe radio stations could make money because there were only four advertisers.
“One of the first cost(s) that you incur when you get revenue is salary and when you fail to pay your salary on time, it means the company is not making a profit because the human resources are those that enable you to make that profit and if you fail to pay them, it means the company is not making a profit,” he said.
“So, there is this issue that they have broken even and they are making a profit; Mr. Speaker, it is not true. Radio stations and broadcasting institutions make a profit from advertising. If you ask me to count the number of advertisers that we have in Zimbabwe, I can count the fingers on my left hand and before I finish them, I will be stammering.
“There is Econet, Telecel, Netone and there is Natbrew and there is nobody else. So, everybody who is publishing, be they newspapers, television stations or radio stations, they all go and queue at Econet, Telecel and Natbrew.
“This is a very dangerous situation because you can have Econet and Telone and these big advertisers actually colluding to determine the content that goes in a newspaper or radio station because without those advertisers, the radio station is dead.”
Maridadi also blasted the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe for issuing radio licences to only four “people” in the country.
“..essentially in Zimbabwe, we have got three independent radio stations. The reason I am saying this is because radio stations are either owned by ZBC, AB Communications or by Zimpapers. There is only one independent radio station that is owned by a Zimbabwean citizen, that is Skies Metro and the owners of Skies Metro also happens to be the owners of Breeze FM in Victoria Falls. So, essentially we have four people that own all radio stations in Zimbabwe; AB Communications, ZBC, Zimpapers and the owners of Skies and Breeze FM.”
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