Pro-Mugabe radio station launched in Zimbabwe


HARARE, Zimbabwe (AFP) — A new Zimbabwe radio  station aligned to long-ruling President Robert Mugabe ZANU-PF party began  broadcasting yesterday.

Star FM, which is owned by the Zimbabwe  Newspaper Group (Zimpapers), launched with a rendition of the national anthem at  midday, seven months after being awarded a licence by the broadcasting  authority.

Star FM brings to five the number of state-owned  radio stations that are broadcasting in the country. Others are Spot FM, Radio  Zimbabwe, Power FM and National FM.

Zimpapers also publishes eight newspapers,  including The Herald, which is regarded as a ZANU-PF mouthpiece.

The awarding of the licence to Star FM was  criticised by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a coalition partner in  an uneasy unity government, which has described it and the other radio stations  as “ZANU-PF apologists”.

Media reform remains one of the key  disagreements between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the MDC,  who accuses the 88-year-old of riding roughshod over reforms agreed to in their  unity pact.



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