Catherine Vhutuza, Women’s Rights journalist, Zimbabwe

Catherine at Vemuganga Community Radio, where she has a strong focus to empower women

Women on the Global Community Airwaves

Women on the global community airwaves is a podcast series bringing you stories told by women around the world working to strengthen women’s voices on airwaves within their own community media. The stories are brought to you by me, Birgitte Jallov, who have worked with these issues for a lifetime. The women tell about why it is so important that women get a voice and what it means for the producers, the listeners and the community contributing. Much more here →

Catherine Vhutuza is a broadcaster at the Vemuganga Community Radio reporting on women’s participation in the community of Chipinge – inspired by the powerful programmes that Catherine and colleagues share on air. Catherine tells about how Gender-based Violence – GBV as she often refers to in the interview – is an important and intensely covered subject on the station as well as landrights, which often sees women, especially single women or widows, not getting the compensation for land that men do, when it is confiscated by the state for mining or other industrial purposes.

Vemuganga Community Radio (VCR) is a registered Trust established to heighten the creation of a reliable and direct platform for the people of Zimbabwe and in particular the Ndau speaking people of Chipinge in Manicaland to enter into dialogue and analytical discussion among themselves and decide for themselves on changes that affect their lives so that they become active in implementing them. The stimulus has been to create a stage for sharing, researching and disseminating information that promote the integration and social cohesion that cultivates sustainable community development through the promotion of Ndau language, culture, norms and values. The initiative was registered as a Trust in 2012 (MA373/12), when they started sharing news on facebook and WhatsApp every second day – until the station was awarded an operating license by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) in November 2021.

Vemuganga Community Radio is run by a 7 member Board of Trustee who are part of the community stakeholders with well-balanced  expertise .The overall management of the initiative is coordinated by the Station Manager who works closely with Production Manager and the Programmes Manager. Accountability and listener feedback involves the representatives of the targeted areas who are organised in the form of ward based Executive Committees, volunteers and Citizen Journalists

There is strong involvement of community members in many different ways that reflects the interest of the Ndau community, and they ensure that members are heavily involved in the management and direction of Vemuganga Community Radio.

The vision of the initiative: A self – believing community that actively participates in the dissemination and preservation of socio-economic and cultural knowledge from its surroundings.

The Mission of the initiative: A non-profit and inclusive community platform that exists to collect, share and broadcast information that promotes sustainable development in Chipinge and ensure people’s right to information and community participation by expressing the voice and thoughts of grassroots people in the development process.

Vemuganga Community Radio and Geographical Area: Vemuganga Community Radio Initiative is licenced to cover Checheche, Chibuwe and Chipinge urban where it is covering 22 wards of Chipinge with an approximately 50 000 households and a population of 212 980. It aims to enrich the livelihood of the Ndau people, through the content that is created by the people and for the people of the Ndau community.

Catherine in a community dialogue with key stakeholders eg village health workers,councillors and women leaders in churches.we were focusing on how best can we assist other women in participating on politics.
The market place in Chipinge is a source of much news.
1The vemuganga community radio is a lively place, where editorial groups, community groups, individuals invited for an interview of a debate come and go. The community's station