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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid