The Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya, has advised a new commercial radio station to air progressive programmes.
Tweya made did the urging when he recently launched new commercial radio station Rapids FM at Rundu.
“It is indeed a honour for me to join you this evening as we witness another achievement that speaks to the mandate of the ministry that I am currently heading, that of ensuring that information reaches, not some, but all citizens, regardless of where they are, as long as they are in the Namibian house,” Tweya said at the launch.
Rapids 107.7 FM is a Namibian owned radio station and operates on the first floor of Galaxy Mall in the heart of Rundu. Operational since May 10, the station is managed by Roman Uutoni and broadcasts daily from 06h00 to 22h00, also playing music.
Rapids FM covers a radius of about 60km to 70km from Rundu and plans to expand its footprint further in future.
“It is indeed a well-known fact that many of our citizens still rely on radio for timely and reliable information on a daily basis. When you talk of radio you talk of ordinary men and women but unfortunately some Namibians are not part of this digital world, they are still in darkness,” Tweya added.
Rapids FM joins NBC Wato (formerly known as RuKavango Service) and over 32 radio stations operating in Namibia as appropriate mediums to improve awareness and empower communities with information that contribute to public debate and discussions as well as transparency and accountability.
“I wish to congratulate and commend the management and owner of Rapids FM, Dr Sifiso Nyati the owner of Radiant Consultant and Trading which owns the station. You must be in compliance with the conditions under which the licence was granted for the benefit of the region and the nation at large,” Tweya said.
Tweya urged the station to operate under the conditions of the licence it was given to serve the people.
“Therefore it must serve the people as well as the nation at large. Though Rapids FM is a commercial radio station the content of your programming should largely speak to the needs of the community and not be driven by profit,” he said.
Tweya also urged presenters to carefully control what goes on air to avoid misleading people negatively. He reminded them that the Rwanda genocide when a radio presenter went on air and made a derogatory and hate-filled announcement is still fresh in people’s minds.
He said the broadcast resulted in people taking up arms, machetes, and started killing other tribes in very large numbers resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
“Producers and presenters must produce programmes that advocate the peace and stability that we are enjoying today and the real upliftment of our people that can improve their livelihood,” he implored.