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CIOGATE: LATEST ON SCANDAL

Zimbabwe sinks $152bln on propaganda TV, radio stations



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By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe government will sink Zim$152 billion setting up a propaganda radio and satellite television station targeting its nationals in the Diaspora as it fights to win the hearts and minds of a restive population.

In a report to the parliamentary portfolio on Transport and Communications presented Monday, New Ziana Chief executive officer Munyaradzi Matanyaire said George Charamba, President Robert Mugabe’s press secretary had told him that the projects had the “support from the highest level and I repeat from the highest level”.

Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Co- oporation television anchor and Zanu PF adhererent Happison Muchechetere would be in carge of the stations.

Matanyaire also said all the equipment for the radio project was already in place.

The Zimbabwe government has enacted harsh press laws that have resulted in the closure of four newspapers in an effort to stem negative publicity triggered by its ruinous policies.

Recently, the government has been funding visits by journalists on guided tours from Asian countries as part of Mugabe's 'Look East' project.

Matanyaire said: “The radio programme to be on Shortwave (SW) and the satellite television would solely target our people in the diaspora to counter the negative publicity from those countries."

The station would be stationed in Gweru, but would have separate offices from the state-run Power FM which targets locals. Matanyaire added that they would needed $152 billion from treasury to implement the two projects.

Over the years, the government has been blaming negative publicity over its appalling human rights record by the international media as the cause of an unprecedented economic crisis.

Presenting his monetary policy in January, the country's central bank chief Gideon Gono also blamed the economic mess on negative publicity that he said portrayed Zimbabwe as a war zone.

Gono said: "The negative publicity by local, regional and international media has thus, in effect, worked to undermine and destroy business confidence and investor sentiment towards Zimbabwe."
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