News / Africa

Independent TV Station Launches in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe Election Commission  officials count special votes in Harare, July 19, 2013.
Zimbabwe Election Commission officials count special votes in Harare, July 19, 2013.
Zimbabweans woke up Friday with the option of watching a new independent television station, broadcasting by satellite from South Africa.  The new station was launched less than two weeks before the country's general elections, a development that the party of  President Robert Mugabe is not happy about.

The Johannesburg-based station operates on a free-to-air satellite platform, which means it can be viewed by anyone in Zimbabwe with a satellite dish and a decoder.

Andrew Chadwick, the executive producer of 1st TV, says the new kid on the block aims to reach at least three million viewers plus, which is about a quarter of Zimbabwe’s population.

According to Chadwich the purpose of 1st TV is to serve the Zimbabwean people. “1st TV is designed to meet the demands of the Zimbabwean people for a television station which they have failed to be allowed to view for the past three years,” he stated.

Zimbabwe has one of the toughest broadcasting laws in the world. Until last year, the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, which openly favors President Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party, had a monopoly of the airwaves.

There are now two privately radio stations in Zimbabwe, but both have ties to ZANU-PF.

Chadwick said 1st TV will be offering "unbiased" coverage of both ZANU-PF and its main opponent in the July 31 elections, the Movement for Democratic Change party, or MDC.  nHe said the approval of both parties is critical for advertising.

The elections are expected to end the power-sharing government that ZANU-PF and MDC have operated, with friction, since 2009.  

The ZANU-PF side of the government said 1st TV is a Western- sponsored project, meant to discredit President Mugabe and the party ahead of the elections.

But Tendai Biti, Zimbabwe’s finance minister and a member of the MDC, has a different view. "To ZANU-PF everything is a pirate except them.  The media should be opened up.  The fact that 33 years after independence we have one broadcasting house is criminal," he said. "The fact that 33 years after independence we have a paper called a state newspaper, it does not happen anywhere [else] in the world," he said.

ZANU-PF and MDC will lock horns in the elections for president, parliament and other offices, now less than two weeks away.

The polls got off to a bad start this week, when a scheduled two days of voting by security forces was extended to three amid reports of disorganization, and over the objections of the MDC.

Finance Minister Biti said last week the cash-strapped government still needs at least $85 million to pay for the elections.  Biti has since located some funds, but the treasury remains far short of its goal.

You May Like

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid