via Misa bemoans closure of SW Radio | The Zimbabwean 5 August 2014
One of Zimbabwe’s leading exiled media houses, SW Radio Africa, that has been domiciled in the UK is closing down, a development that Misa-Zimbabwe has described as tragic.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, SW Radio founder and editor, Gerry Jackson, said the popular radio services provider will wind up business on August 10.
SW Radio started beaming news and current affairs information to Zimbabwe and other parts of the world on December 19, 2001.
Nhlanhla Ngwenya, the Misa-Zimbabwe director, said: “It is sad that one of the daily sources of alternative information is closing down. It is even worse if one considers that radio remains the most popular news source in Zimbabwe, covering almost 80 percent of the population.”
He added that SW Radio had carved a niche in information-starved communities.
SW Radio’s establishment followed a growing onslaught by President Robert Mugabe’s government on independent journalists and media houses as it faced a fierce challenge from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and increasing international isolation due to human and property rights abuses, bad governance and politically motivated violence.
“It is with regret that SW Radio announces that it is closing down. We recently stopped our shortwave transmissions but have continued to provide broadcasts via our website and other formats, but these too will cease.
“We’d like to thank the organisations and individuals who have supported us for the past 13 years and the contributors to our programs who have given so willingly of their time and expertise. In particular we’d like to thank our listeners, who have shared their lives, hopes and dreams and helped us to tell the story of Zimbabwe’s sad decline to the world,” said Jackson.
She hoped that Zimbabwe would have a government that would be sensitive enough to promote “a safe, healthy, prosperous life for every man, woman and child in the country.”
SW Radio had become popular for hard hitting and breaking news on Zimbabwe, coupled with in-depth analyses and interviews which at times featured Zanu (PF) heavyweights.