Zimbabwe State Television to broadcast Chinese news programming

Regulation & Policy

In a move that could bolster the influence of the People’s Republic of China in Zimbabwe, the state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation will soon start airing programming from Chinese Central Television or CCTV, which will run Zimbabwean programs.

A Chinese delegation visiting Harare sealed a deal with the Ministry of Information on Tuesday for ZBC and CCTV to share news programming. They will also share digital technology, the state-run Herald newspaper reported.

Information Minister Webster Shamu, a member of the former ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe, called China a “genuine brother.” CCTV is already available to many Zimbabweans who have free-to-air satellite receivers.

But Deputy Information Minister Murisi Zvizvai of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was not enthusiastic. "Zimbabweans want balanced reporting from ZBC, not Chinese programs," Zvizvai said.

Media studies lecturer Zenzele Ndebele of the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo said the Chinese programing is only likely to appeal to core supporters of President Mugabe, who has long pursued closer ties with Beijing.