Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Zimbabwe's new 24 hour radio station to air soon

Text of report by Zimbabwean TV on 14 May

[Presenter] Final touches are being put to the studios of Voice of Zimbabwe, the new 24-hour seven-days a week radio station. The Secretary for Information and Publicity Comrade George Charamba, who visited the studios in Gweru, said the launch of the station is long overdue.

[Reporter] Workmen are busy at the studios along 7th Street in Gweru whose official launch was initially supposed to coincide with the celebration of Zimbabwe’s 27th Independence anniversary. The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Publicity, Comrade George Charamba, revealed that the radio station is being established to utilise the shortwave band which for a long time has been lying idle.

[Charamba] Through just this transmitter site cable we are able to cover not just the whole of Zimbabwe going beyond so that we can actually communicate with a part of our community, which is in the Diaspora. But it is also a question of influence - worldwide, national governments do have a voice that speaks to the world and usually that voice is on mediumwave or on shortwave, and in our particular case, we not only want to be making known our own conditions and policies but also to try and influence the world out there to begin to understand us as Zimbabweans.

[Reporter] The Voice of Zimbabwe project is being bankrolled by central government. Already the general manager of the radio station has been appointed. Earlier at the Midlands State University’s belated commemorations for World Press Freedom day, Comrade Charamba revealed that the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will soon release the first tranch from US$600 000 for the re-vamping of the 21 transmitters in the country. Three more will be put up at Prince Albert, Plumtree and Beveridge (as heard) to enable Zimbabweans everywhere to receive local radio and television transmission.

(Source: ZTV1, Harare, in English 1800 gmt 14 May 07 via BBC Monitoring/R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)