Star FM a ZBC clone
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
THE country’s first commercial radio station, Zimpapers’ Star FM is not
different from the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) which has over
the years lost its relevance due to partisan programming, analysts and
aspiring broadcasters have said.
With ZBC largely perceived to be a Zanu PF propaganda mouthpiece, most
people are no longer interested in both Zimbabwe radio and television.
Participants attending a joint Misa / Zimbabwe Association of Community
Radio Stations (Zacras) radio festival in Harare yesterday told The
Standard that the new station was a continuation of the state monopoly over
“It is a pure consolidation of a monopoly. They have simply created another
ZBC,” said Joseph Mututi, chairperson of Kwekwe’s Radio Kwelaz.
Gift Mambipiri, Chairperson of Zacras said it was impossible for the new
stations to be divorced from the Zanu PF ideology.
“This is just a smoke screen of lies that they have presented to the
nation,” said Mambipiri.
“The two stations have their roots in the same pot and I do not see them
being divorced from the system. The good thing is lies have short legs and
if this is a dummy, it will not go a long way.”
Star FM general manager, Admire Taderera said there was nothing unusual
about the station not offering anything new citing a case of the then Radio
3 which opened in 1981.
“Unlike what you are alleging that we are replicating Power FM, we have a
youthful team that is different,” he said.
Taderera said the new station was targeting a cosmopolitan listenership and
denied reports that it would push for Zanu PF’s agenda just like other
government-owned media stables.
“We are not aligned to any party because this is a privately owned
commercial radio station and our shareholders determine what we are going to
broadcast,” he said.
“The other determinant is money because that is the basic reason for a
When the new station went on air last week, many could not help but notice
the similarity with Power FM.
Over the past week that the station has been on air, there was more of music
than talk which prompted questions over whether or not Star FM fit into the
model that it was licensed for.
Taderera said they were balancing between music and talk.
“People love to talk and listen to music and that is what we are doing,” he
“We are simply replicating the life of a Zimbabwean because people do not
According to Wikipedia, talk radio is a format containing discussion about
topical issues. Most shows are regularly hosted by a single individual, and
often feature interviews with a number of different guests and include
Star FM in essence does not fit into the model, The Standard observed last
Misa Zimbabwe chairperson, Njabulo Ncube also said he was not impressed by
the new radio station.
“I listened to Star FM’s bulletins on June 25 and 26 where they took
everything from The Herald. That says a lot about the station,” said Ncube.