September 12th, 2010 - 12:44 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.
The cash-strapped Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) has roped in the police to force Zimbabweans who own radios and television sets to pay licence fees. This comes amid growing anger over the state broadcaster’s partisan reporting and programming. The strategy to pursue citizens refusing to pay for the propaganda being churned out by the state broadcaster coincided with the launch of a nationwide “free-the-airwaves” campaign by the Media Institute of Southern Africa - Zimbabwe (Misa-Zimbabwe).
The state broadcaster’s licence inspectors have been conducting door-to-door campaigns with police officers, demanding licences. The inspectors are now a common feature at road blocks on major highways as the cash-strapped state broadcaster vigorously attempts to boost its coffers, while an increasing number of locals turn to satellite television and other free-to-air channels, such as the SABC.
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