Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Radio Free Zimbabwe

Back in March of this year the BBC was asking why Robert Mugabe's forces were confiscating people's radios;
"A lot of people were taken to the police station and we were warned that those that would be found with the radios [in future] will disappear." [said one villager who was interviewed]
The confiscations have left some people fearing that in the run-up to elections, the free media guarantees in the newly approved constitution will not be respected.
But the police force has said the radios are being used to spread "hate speech", brought into the country by unregistered groups ahead of the polls expected in July after four years of power-sharing between President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and the Movement for Democratic Change.
"We have evidence that they have been smuggled in from some of the Western countries - and these radios are used to propel propaganda in the rural areas," police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said.
'Hate speech' being anything that might dissuade Zimbabweans from voting for Mugabe in the July election (now completed, with the votes counted by Mugabe). Which they certainly won't hear on 'official' radio broadcasts';
Zimbabwe's state broadcaster, the ZBC, has a near monopoly over the airwaves - 16 months ago two broadcasting licences were granted to two commercial radio stations, one owned by the state-owned Herald newspaper and the other by a powerful businessman in Zanu-PF [Mugabe's party].
The more than 10 community radio projects which have applied for permission to broadcast, along with other private radio and TV concerns, since the coalition government came to power four years ago are still waiting for their licences to be approved.
"It is very diabolic the taking of the radios, people are entitled to information about what is happening in the country… taking away these radios is to force them to listen to the ZBC, which they don't want to listen to," MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told the BBC.
All preliminary to the 'landslide re-election' of Mugabe, now completed, with the all too predictable consequences;
Robert Mugabe has vowed to press on with his policy of forcing all companies to cede economic control to black Zimbabweans.
"Indigenisation" was one of his main campaign issues for last month's election, which he officially won.
....He says black Zimbabweans need help as they faced discrimination during white minority rule, which ended in 1980.
His policy of seizing most of Zimbabwe's white-owned farms is widely seen as having caused the country's economic collapse from 2000-2009.
Mr Mugabe says giving black Zimbabweans control of the business sector is the next step and said the election result had given him a "resounding mandate" to do so.
"We will do everything in our power to ensure our objective of total indigenisation, empowerment, development and employment is realised," he told a public rally to mark the annual Defence Forces Day.
Maybe Oprah can get an interview with him. 

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