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of radios from individuals in some rural communities
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
Weekly Media Update 2006-49
Monday December 4th 2006 -
December 10th 2006
DURING the week
the private electronic media reported on developments that exposed
the authorities' determination to maintain their stranglehold
on the free flow of information by confiscating radios from individuals
in some rural communities. On Monday (4/12) SW Radio Africa reported
that security agents were confiscating FM/Short Wave radio sets
donated by a civic body, Radio Communication Project, to some rural
communities that enabled them to access independent news broadcasts.
quoted MDC officials claiming that Central Intelligence Organisation
operatives in Mberengwa were allegedly "following
up on some of the recipients and taking the radios away"
promising to return them after "completing
day Studio 7 reported Progressive
Teachers Union of Zimbabwe leader Raymond Majongwe alleging
that radio sets had been confiscated by security agents from teachers
in Midlands province.
of the reports sought official corroboration.
authoritarian measures expose the authorities' fear of free
expression and their evident attempts to condemn Zimbabweans to
ignorance about important issues affecting their lives. To make
matters worse, recent media reports revealed that the country's
broadcasting infrastructure was now so obsolete and dilapidated
that only 30% of Zimbabwe was now being covered. The Zimbabwe Independent
(1/12), for example, reported Transmedia Corporation chief executive
officer Alfred Mandere warning that the country "faces
the risk of a television and radio signal blackout" if
the "antiquated" broadcasting
equipment, in use for the past 40 years, is not urgently refurbished
(21/11 & 1/12) carried similar reports.
the paper (21/11) quoted Mandere saying the upgrading of the equipment
would result in the addition of two more FM radio networks and the
"establishment of 59 community radio stations
that are expected to be functioning by the end of 2007",
it did not investigate whether these would be privately owned or
just an extension of government's already pervasive media
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