Last year there was public furore when Star FM listeners complained about a glut of prophet adverts, with listeners taking to Social Media to vent their frustration.
The general outcry from the listeners was and still is that the station is no longer serving the general listeners’ needs, in pursuit of money from Prophets and Apostles.
This week has yet been another strange, wonderful week on the internet. What happened?
On Thursday the daily tabloid the Daily News ran reported that the national broadcaster the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has temporarily suspended all programming covering “prosperity and miracle prophets.”
And just like the Star FM case, this call came amid public outrage over the unprecedented coverage of prophets at the expense of news, sports, business, entertainment and other forms of programming.
ZBC acting head of Radio Services Albert Chekayi confirmed the public broadcaster had halted prophets’ programmes to assess if they were not infringing on the rights of their diverse audience.
Chekayi said once the process is complete, the broadcaster will re-engage those whose programmes would have been affected.
The ZBC operates four radio stations and one television station.
“What has happened is we have temporarily suspended the programmes to allow us to have a re-look considering the many complaints that we have received from the public who are the owners of the radio stations since we are a public broadcaster,”
“This decision was taken by us… as we are answerable to the listeners. Remember, a public broadcaster does not just target profits but the interests of those who pay licences. Once the process is complete, it will inform us what steps to take.
Remember, Zimbabwe is a country that upholds freedom of religion but guided by the Bill of Rights in our Constitution the freedoms one enjoys do not need to infringe on the rights of other citizens.
So, as a public broadcaster, we have the balancing role of ensuring that no section of the country’s population is offended by the content we broadcast,”
The news of the suspension gave various internet users a chance to express their opinions on the issue as there happen to be radio consumers as well.
Naturally, media reports came fast and from there the comments continued, and here are some of the most surprising reactions we spotted and recommend you read too.
That was probably a tough call coz as annoying as those programs are; they probably actually keep the lights on and cover a lot of salaries.
— #SocialArchitect🇿🇼🇦🇴 (@SELETINE) April 5, 2018
Sure, they must not only suspend but ban them. Not all Zimbabweans and ZBC Radio listeners are Christians
— Chirandu Moyo (@chirandu210) April 5, 2018
They are a national broadcaster. They are supposed to broadcast everything even from minority groups
Every viewer or listener can chose whether to listen/watch or not.
I may not like them prophets but banning them is also infringing on their rights
— liberty (@peterkatsidzira) April 5, 2018
But one can easily tune off and listen to what they want? Can they also ban ZANU PF campaigns?
— Wonder Bhaku (@wbhaku) April 5, 2018
How about the prophets opening their own radio stations and those who want will listen there.
— NDEIPI CLOTHING (@danny2kay) April 5, 2018
Why is it that people in Zimbabwe they are always against Prosperity…
— Bezzy Manguwo (@bezzy_manguwo) April 6, 2018
Star FM needs to follow suit if it intends to stay relevent!!
— Eng T. Mazibuko (@thando_mlots) April 5, 2018
Its understandable why ZBC has taken this stance. In an ideal world, there should be alternative radio stations specifically for religious programs!
— Smart Sabola (@SmartSabola) April 5, 2018
Good move by ZBC. We expect them to do more, more programs that are beneficial to their audience, less of being Zanu mouth piece, less of fictitious tricksters masquerading as prophets.
— Mputaili C. (@mputailic) April 5, 2018
Do you have a different opinion about this? Share with us in the comment section below.