MARCH 7, 2005
Posted: March 17, 2005
SW Radio Africa
The shortwave transmission of SW Radio Africa, a private broadcaster based in the United Kingdom and founded by exiled Zimbabwean journalists, was jammed in Zimbabwe during the run-up to March 31 parliamentary elections, the station and other news media reported. According to the South Africa–based Web site for the banned independent Daily News, the government installed jamming equipment at a local air base to interfere with radio signals.
In response to the jamming, SW Radio Africa expanded the number of frequencies carrying its broadcasts and added a transmission on medium-wave. However, on March 16, station manager Gerry Jackson told CPJ that the government had succeeded in blocking all of the station’s transmissions.
An article in the state-owned Sunday Mail quoted a government spokesman as saying that “the Government is not in any way blocking SW Radio Africa as falsely claimed.” The same article denounced the broadcaster as “heavily sponsored by ex-Rhodesians to illegally transmit pro-opposition and imperialist propaganda to Zimbabwe.”
SW Radio Africa was launched in 2001 and broadcasts political reporting and commentary, as well as phone-in programs featuring Zimbabwe residents.