Saturday, April 14, 2007

Iran funds Mugabe's propaganda radio station

Robert Mugabe has been actively pursuing a policy of friendship and co-operation with Iran, claiming that the two countries share a common ideology of standing up to Western hegemony. Now it looks like it's paid off, with the news that Iran has agreed to finance the establishment of a new radio station in Zimbabwe's second city, Bulawayo.

Iran, which has previously donated funds to refurbish the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation's television and radio stations, will provide a total of US$39.6m for the new station. The money will be spent on re-equipping an old Bulawayo studio providing new digital technology, and sending instructors to train local technicians.

The deal was signed in Harare last Friday,...

The News 24/7 programmes, headed up by veteran broadcaster Happison Muchechetere, will be designed to offset the critical broadcasts beamed into the country from anti-Mugabe stations abroad, such as SWW from Britain and Studio 7, which is part of Voice of America.

The station is unlikely to carry commercial advertisements. In the current economic crisis, with inflation running at 1,700 per cent and unemployment at 80 per cent, no-one can afford to advertise.

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