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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid