Monday, August 05, 2013

(TALKZIMBABWE) Gvt to engage Zuma over pirate TV launch
This article was written by Our reporter on 19 July, at 04 : 15 AM

COMMENT - I knew that Andrew Chadwick (ACR) was a corrupt individual wanted in Zimbabwe for owning multiple mining claims, and in Australia for tax evasion, but I didn't know he had also worked for Morgan Tsvangirai. He seems to be the source for many of the allegations made about 'close associates' of President Mugabe as well. The MDC is deeply corrupt. - MrK

THE Government of Zimbabwe will engage GPA facilitator South African President Jacob Zuma over the launch of pirate TV station, 1st TV.

The TV station will launch at 6pm today on Wiztech Free To Air (FTA) platform that previously carried the signal of SABC stations and will be spearheaded by ex-Rhodesian Andrew Chadwick, Violet Gonda (above picture) of the pirate radio station Short Wave Radio Africa and Studio 7 and ex-ZBC staffer Temba Hove.

Chadwick is a former communications director in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office.

The platform is owned by Sentech, a South African parastatal.

The three free SABC stations were removed from the FTA platform three weeks ago and 1st TV is set to fill the void left by the removal.

Zimbabwe says it has, in the past three weeks when the election campaign started, noticed a two-pronged intensification of pirate broadcasts into Zimbabwe manifest; and an expansion towards new genres, principally the audio-visual being brought in through 1st TV.

The country says this in violation of the Global Political Agreement that makes a strong case against pirate broadcasting under Article 19.1(c) (i) of the GPA.

The clause outlaws pirate broadcasts into Zimbabwe and “calls upon the governments that are hosting and/or funding external radio stations broadcasting into Zimbabwe to cease such hosting and funding”.

Observers have queried whether it was coincidental that Sentech scrambled the SABC signal effectively removing the three channels from the FTA platform three weeks ago, only to have 1st TV announce its arrival on the same platform three weeks removed.

Government says it was concerned by Sentech’s double dealing. The SA signal carrier was in Harare this week negotiating with ZBC in a bid to get it to carry the SABC channels when it had left a platform for pirate broadcasts.

Contacted for comment on the development Media, Information and Publicity permanent secretary George Charamba said Government was aware of the technical co-operation between Sentech and Voice of America (VOA) and would pursue diplomatic channels.

“We have been aware of the technical corroboration between VOA and Sentech, what we did not expect was this expansion of that corroboration.

“Also we are not very sure if the South African government is aware of what its parastatal is doing to hurt Zimbabwean interests. We will pursue diplomatic channels,” Charamba said.

Sources close to developments said 1st TV was to work on the basis of continual feed from international news networks operating in Zimbabwe, among them the Associated Press which hit the headlines after two of its staffers were seconded to the Prime Minister’s office.

It has since emerged that the staffers – Tsvangirai Mukwazhi and Farai Mutsaka – were to feed into the Ist TV project.

There has also been an attempt to strengthen the Reuters’ TV side pursuant to that objective.

These international networks were to be complemented by a glut of journalists from outside who were to come into Zimbabwe for the elections amid reports of unusually high interest from TV crews.

Charamba said Government was aware of the development.

“We are alive to this connection and we will be taking decisions mindful of the need to cripple this pirate television broadcast station,” Charamba said.

Sources close to developments said the MDC-T’s push for an October poll was meant to give various western projects launched to abet its campaign sufficient time to be established, and the Constitutional Court ruling ordering polls by July 31 had brought forward the 1st TV project.

TH-TZG

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