Date Posted: June 2nd, 2008
Imagine waking up one morning to find that your radio station has been bombed. Or being arrested and beaten by police just for interviewing a member of the opposition party. Imagine having to move your station’s headquarters to a neighbouring country, only to have your radio signal deliberately jammed. Farm Radio partner Radio Voice of the People (VOP), its journalists and trustees, have endured all of this and more, to provide an alternative source of news and information to the people of Zimbabwe.The two attached reports tell the tale of Radio VOP, a broadcaster that refuses to be silenced. In an article published by World Radio TV Handbook (read the report by clicking here), Radio VOP Chairperson David Masunda describes his station’s mission: “As the name implies, VOP was formed to give a voice to the voiceless marginalised, the rural and urban communities whose interests are not being catered for by the government media, the voices of opposition political parties, those “banned” from the government-owned media, the civic society and the ordinary Zimbabwean whose story is not being told.”
The second article was published by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (read the report by clicking here) , and quotes a former Radio VOP journalist who helped keep the alternative station on the airwaves following a bombing in 2002: “We always lived in terrible fear. After the bombing we were left homeless as a station and started operating from street corners, city restaurants and motor cars because no one was prepared to offer us office space for fear of being bombed. Everywhere we went we felt we were being followed by the dreaded state security agents but we made sure that we produced a powerful programme every day without fail.” You are sure to be inspired by the tenacity and courage of Radio VOP!