Global Politics

Exiled Zimbabwean journalist

(Your station is the independent voice of Zimbabwe on shortwave and there's no independent radio in Zimbabwe, right?) Yes, we only have one broadcaster and it's 100% controlled by the state. (So what kind of news are you able to broadcast by shortwave into Zimbabwe that people there wouldn't get otherwise and how do you know the news?) We provide a platform for the voiceless, we have cell phone contacts with people around Zimbabwe and people can call us in. and because Zimbabweans cannot afford to call us, we call them back. and then we have independent correspondents in Zimbabwe who file stories for us. (How do you know how many listeners you have?) It's difficult, the government started a campaign against us and in 2002 we were all banned. In 2005 because we carried on in reporting, the government put pressure on Britain, where we're based, to close us down, and then they purchased jamming equipment to shut us down. We also stream online. We have a huge population in the diaspora who listen to us. we've also started an SMS campaign in 2005 after the jamming campaign by the Zimbabwean government. We know there are people out there who are listening. (If you're sending out text messages to people in Zimbabwe, is that not a bit dangerous for the people inside Zimbabwe?) These days inside Zimbabwe, anything is dangerous, but people are very resourceful. You can get arrested for saying Mugabe is old and should retire, so people don't talk about it in public. (Is the intent of the station to get Mugabe out of office?) The intent is to give the voiceless a platform to voice their concerns. To some extent that is our intention though, because we want democracy in Zimbabwe. (You can't go back to Zimbabwe?) We'd only be welcome in Zimbabwe's prisons. They say we're enemies of the state, puppets of the West, and we have no role to play in Zimbabwe.

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