One of Zimbabwe’s most widely listened to, but currently unlicensed radio stations and websites, Radio VOP, has applied for an operating licence, the Executive Director, John Masuku, has confirmed. Addressing more than 40 Radio VOP website and radio correspondents gathered in Harare for a one-day workshop, Mr Masuku said: “Yes, we have applied for an operating licence. We are waiting to see what will happen.”

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), which falls directly under the Media and Information Commission (MIC) currently led by veteran broadcast journalist, Godfrey Majonga, has the final say before issuing out broadcasting licences in Zimbabwe.

Radio VOP is among three independent radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe today. Only the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Holdings Limited (ZBC) operates legally in Zimbabwe. However, people living in Zimbabwe are currently fed up with the national broadcaster which broadcasts mainly former ruling party Zanu (PF) propaganda material which is in black and white and was shot during the days of the liberation struggle before Independence in 1980.

The two other radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe are Studio 7 from the Voice of America and UK-based SW Radio Africa. Studio 7 currently led by former senior reporter for The Standard newspaper, Ray Choto, while SW Radio Africa is currently led by Jerry Jackson, a former journalist with the cash-strapped ZBC.

July 5th, 2011 - 9:38 UTC
by A.Sennitt
(Source: Radio VOP)

A.Sennitt comments: Radio VOP currently broadcasts into Zimbabwe on shortwave via the RNW relay station in Madagascar. However, this facility will be closed or sold by the end of 2012, following the Dutch government’s slashing of the RNW budget.