Statement on the resignation of former President Robert Mugabe

Community Radio Harare (CORAH), a community radio initiative that has been waiting for a broadcasting radio licence to operate in Harare since 2001, would like to thank Zimbabweans from all walks of life who came together to exert pressure and forced former President Robert Mugabe to resign on the 21st of November 2017.

Mugabe presided over a system that denied ordinary citizens their constitutional right to access and disseminate relevant information. During his long tenure, community radios stations, pioneered by CORAH, were categorically denied broadcasting licences without reason. This was a calculated way to silence ordinary voices and to perpetuate the denial of ordinary citizens their right to freely and publicly discuss pertinent subjects and to state their opinions on development, economic, social and political issues.

The resignation of Mugabe now provides residents of Harare and surrounding areas, as well as all Zimbabweans, an opportunity to be awarded community radio broadcasting licences. His departure should mark a new era in which community radio stations are licenced and are free to broadcast as is the case in all neighbouring countries like South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Botswana and Namibia.

As CORAH, we congratulate the multitudes of citizens, particularly youth, women, vendors, people living with disabilities, the unemployed and other such marginalised groups who raised their voices and said Mugabe must go. They are the target CORAH audience, owners and stakeholders who raised their voices using various platforms to ensure Mugabe resigned.

In the meantime, we call upon the new administration to guarantee citizens’ right to freedoms of expression and access to information, which are constitutionally guaranteed, by issuing relevant licences to CORAH and other aspiring community radio broadcasters to start broadcasting as a matter of urgency.We also call upon all stakeholders such as the ordinary audience, residents’ groups, local authorities, community – based organisations, civil society, the business community, prospective funding partners and local opinion leaders to fully support CORAH as we forge towards providing a community radio station that will give a voice to marginalised citizens in Harare and surrounding farming/rural communities.

Source: Community Radio Harare (CORAH)