SW Radio Africa-Pirate Radio station in Mugabe’s flesh closes down | Africa in the news SW Radio Africa-Pirate Radio station in Mugabe’s flesh closes down – Africa in the news
Africa MDC-T Press Freedom Tsvangirai Zimbabwe Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation

SW Radio Africa-Pirate Radio station in Mugabe’s flesh closes down

By Staff Reporter

Well done SW Radio Africa!

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  • Bravo to the courageous journalism by team at SW Radio Africa who exposed several cases of human rights abuses and corruption by Zanu PF regime over the years.
  • SW Radio Africa’s contribution towards fight for equality, democracy and against corruption, nepotism, exploitation of Chiadzwa diamond fields will always have a place of mention when fight against Zanu PF autocracy will be chronicled.
  • SW Radio Africa has been broadcasting “illegally” to Zimbabwe since 2001 from UK
  • Zanu PF has unsuccessfully asked UK government to shut SW Radio Africa down since 2001
  • SW Radio Africa helped give voice to the voiceless members of opposition MDC who the state media controlled by Zanu PF shunned
  • Indications were visible when the station could no longer broadcast to Zimbabwe Live but could only stream via internet
  • Senior staff at SW Radio Africa confided to Newsafrica, two weeks ago in Birmingham during Dr Tsvangirai’s visit that coffers had dried and that remaining revenue streams had failed to improve the situation.
Freedom of speech in South Africa (or not?)

Freedom of speech in South Africa (or not?) (Photo credit: Sokwanele – Zimbabwe)

Independent media (opposed to Zanu PF regime ) mushroomed after the disputed elections of 2000 in which any dissenting voices faced persecution from state security agents in Zimbabwe. In the same period millions of Zimbabweans also fled the country into “diaspora” and remain there. It must also be noted that of the millions who fled Zimbabwe into neighbouring countries and English speaking West (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand) probably half left Zimbabwe willingly for economic reasons following the economic meltdown of 2005 -2009.

Zimbabwe currently faces severe liquidity problems and more citizens will be forced to seek better life outside the country. So independent media based outside the country still has a place to play towards the goal of informing and enlightening against corruption and human rights abuses by Zanu PF regime.

SW Radio Africa shutting down follows the same route as  ZimNews  more than 5 years ago. Several such media houses, blogs, social media will carry on from where SW Radio Africa left and are  already doing a good job of highlighting shortcomings of the Zanu PF regime which still holds monopoly over broadcast media in Zimbabwe. With news that Trevor Ncube’s Alpha Media Holdings which publishes The Independent, The Standard , NewsDay and Southern Eye in serious financial troubles, focus now shifts to internet based media houses like Newsafrica , Nehanda Radio, Blogs or VOA where costs of publishing are minimal compared to live broadcasting or print media.

Police brutality at an NCA protest

Police brutality at an NCA protest caught on camera by independent media (Photo credit: Sokwanele – Zimbabwe)

It must also be noted that SW Radio Africa also played a part in exposing weaknesses of the opposition MDC including Dr Tsvangirai’s so called “lovergates” and it will be fair to regard the broadcasters at SW Radio Africa as fair and balanced.

 On 4th August 2014, a statement from the Founder and  Editor and  Gerry Jackson read,

SW Radio Africa as viewed by The Herald newspaper in 2002

It is with regret that SW Radio Africa announces that it is closing down. We recently stopped our shortwave transmissions but have continued to provide broadcasts via our website and other formats, but these too will cease.

We’d like to thank the organisations and individuals who have supported us for the past 13 years and the contributors to our programs who have given so willingly of their time and expertise.

In particular we’d like to thank our listeners, who have shared their lives, hopes and dreams and helped us to tell the story of Zimbabwe’s sad decline to the world.

We hope that one day Zimbabwe finally has a government who understands that its sole responsibility is to ensure a safe, healthy, prosperous life for every man, woman and child in the country.

Our first broadcast was on 19th December 2001.
Our last broadcast will be on 10th August 2014.

It’s been a privilege.

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