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to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Transport and Communications
Radio Voice of the People (VOP) Communications Trust
of the People (VOP was established in the year 2000 and went on
air a few weeks before the first Parliamentary elections of this
millennium. At its inception VOP was no more than a loosely co-ordinated
effort by concerned Zimbabweans yearning for diversity on the country’s
motivation behind the VOP initiative was the creation of a platform
where ordinary Zimbabweans could dialogue about burning issues of
It was hoped
that this dialogic approach including discussion programmes and
brief comments from the people (hence the name ‘Voice of the People’)
would generate solutions to the national crisis. The target audience
of Radio VOP was defined as the disenfranchised sections of the
Zimbabwean populace falling outside the ambit of the reach of mainstream
promote a free and democratic society that will empower Zimbaweans,
encourage dialogue, tolerance and the sharing of ideas by people
from all walks of life.
broadcast ideas and information for the general development of the
country socially, politically and culturally and to provide a credible
alternative an independent voice for Zimbabweans.
- To provide
an alternative voice on Zimbabwe’s airwaves characterised by in
depth analysis of issues
- To cover
issues on nation building which would not make it to the state-owned
- To promote
and protect the principles of pluralism and diversity in the media.
- To encourage
the development of participatory democracy in Zimbabwe in the
areas of health, governance, parliament, business development,
gender, agriculture and the environment especially following the
land resettlement programme.
- To present
balanced and impartial news coverage for the general development
of the country socially, politically and culturally.
inception VOP has operated within a very prohibitive legislative
framework and extremely precarious and highly polarized political
After its launch
there were indications that government would truly liberalise the
airwaves especially after Capital Radio successfully challenged
the monopoly of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). But
that has not happened even after the enactment of the Broadcasting
Services Act, which provided for the setting up of the Broadcasting
Authority of Zimbabwe. So far, no new radio and television stations
have been licensed.
the prevailing legal restrictions VOP could not put up transmitters
within Zimbabwe which is why it broadcasts via Radio Netherlands.
The advent of the Access to information and Protection of Privacy
Act (AIPPA) has imposed further restrictions on the operations of
journalists especially those from organisations perceived to be
critical of government by merely publishing or broadcasting alternative
views. Even those wanting to practise with stations like VOP have
a problem in getting registration from the Media and Information
Commission in that they work for stations that are not licensed
Radio VOP offices
were bombed on 29 August 2002 by some unknown assailants and up
to now the law enforcement agents have not brought them to book.
after the bombing some senior government officials – notably the
Minister of Information and Publicity in Office of the President
– made negative remarks about VOP alleging that it was a Western
funded pirate radio station which promoted ethnic hatred, a position
which is far from the truth as can be seen from VOP’s mission, objectives,
values and editorial policy.
Prior to such
statements being made many government ministers, officials and members
of the ruling party were always willing to be interviewed on VOP.
were bombed in 2002 and our reporters continue to be harassed and
arrested, VOP is on air every night for an hour between 7 PM and
8 PM. Our frequency is 7120KHz on the 41-meter band on short wave.
Visit the VOP
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