Young children targeted in radio raids by the police

Wind up radio

wind-up radios are being seized by police

By Nomalanga Moyo
14 March 2013

The illegal seizure of wind-up radios reached new levels this week with reports that the police are now using primary school pupils to source information about the receivers.

Villagers in Lupane revealed that the police have been visiting schools and asking little children in Grade 0 and Grade 1(aged between 4 and 6 years) whether their parents own or listen to any radios.

This follows reports that suspected state security agents on Tuesday raided several homesteads at Mpofu village in the Gwampa area and confiscated the wind-up radios.

Speaking to SW Radio Africa one villager who asked not to be named for fear of reprisals, said the police have been going to schools, writing down names, and then visiting those suspected of owning the radios by night.

She said although the agents will be wearing civilian clothes, the villagers know it is the police since they have been announcing their ban on radios.

Our source said she suspects the police are aware of the popularity of shortwave radios in the area, hence they are now confiscating them.

“The police have been announcing that villagers should not be in possession of these radios. Their reason is that we listen to news broadcasts from outside the country which criticise ZANU PF.

“Such harassment by the state security agents normally escalates during election time, which indicates that we are not free to exercise our individual choices if we can’t even listen to different views offered by these shortwave radio stations,” she added.

On Tuesday an MDC official from Mpofu Village, Cosmas Phiri, told the NewsDay newspaper that MDC members were raided shortly before midnight on Monday.

Phiri, who was with some of the affected villagers, told NewsDay that a group of state security agents confiscated at least 10 radios from more than 10 people.

The night raids have stirred up fear within the community, following threats that those who refused to surrender their radio receivers will be abducted and “made to disappear” invoking memories of Gukurahundi.

Since the announcement of the constitutional referendum date on February 15th, Zimbabwean police have embarked on a nationwide campaign targeting civic society organisations and individuals.

On February 19th the police announced a ban on ‘specially designed’ radios, which they argued will be used to promote hate speech ahead of the polls.

Following the ban several organisations have been raided, including community radio initiative Radio Dialogue where police seized more than 180 wind-up radio sets and arrested its managing editor.

Last month, officers ransacked the offices of poll observers ZESN as well as those of violence monitoring group the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP), in search of the so-called “illegal” radios.

The police have since arrested ZPP head Jestina Mukoko and charged her with, among other things, illegally importing short wave radios.



28 Responsesto “Young children targeted in radio raids by the police”

  1. Chimbwidos Warvets says:

    The source of the illegal radios should be investigated and dealt with first. This is how to solve a problem because if the source of the problem is not identified and dealt with, the illegal radios will continue to be dished out to our children like confetti. Sort out the origins of the illegal radios and the problem will be over. Nobody is above the laws of the land, including diplomats. They are in Zimbabwe to promote and cement relations with the country. If they can not observe the laws of the country they are accredited to, they will not be fit to remain in our country as they will be the enemies of the Zimbabwean people.

    • There is no such thing as illegal radios wvet, get it right. there are radios that use mw (medium wave ) and sw (short wave) as well as fm (frequency modulation ). Frequency modulation or fm being harder to recieve in the rural areas because there is a lack of signal boosters and transmitters for fm. so the people in power deem it necessary to stop people listening to other broadcasts that are not their own. .

    • Jim Strathmeyer says:

      Why kind of person thinks radios should be illegal? What unthinkably horrible things are they doing???

      • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

        Anything can be determined as illegal if the laws of the country say so. Let your representatives in Parliament enact laws that relax the restrictive laws in current force and nobody will talk of illegal radios being dished out to our children like confetti. What I am concerned about is what the laws of the country say about these radios and not what you and Nhamodzenyika Freedom think. Rules and laws of the country have to be followed to the letter no matter how stupid and illogical they might appear.
        Not so long ago, 33 years to be precise, Ian Smith and his illegal cabal did not allow short-wave radios in the country for fear the black people of this country could listen to Radio Zambia, Radio Maputo and Radio Tanzania, radio stations that beamed broadcasts to former Rhodesia about the advances made by the liberation fighters. There were also fears by rhodies that the radio stations in these countries were inspired and influenced by the communists of the Soviet Socialist Republics of Russia and China, enemies of western civilisation and their way of life. Laws were put in place by the former rhodesia front to serve this very purpose and we all had to comply although these were laws enacted by an illegal regime.

        • Observer says:

          And that’s why Africa will stay Africa for several generations to come. This childish subservience to authority has it’s roots in the brutal Authoritarian regimes that praised only blind following loyalty and a willingness to exert violence over fellow citizens to get what they want. It is the perfect system for distracting a populace while stealing their natural resources, and once the colonizers have left, provides an ideal framework for dictators and the illegitimate, power-hungry security apparatus left over from the colonial occupation to use force to get whatever they want. I don’t even think you are a paid shill, just a sad remnant of this campaign against human freedom.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            If you are European, I am fully aware you observe the laws of your country without question but like missionaries who propagated the word of God which they never truly practised, you want to propagate to the African people what you do not practise in your own country. I have lived in Europe and I am very much aware that all Europeans without exception observe the laws of their countries to the letter and give respect to their political leaders. Europeans used to fool the African people for hundreds of years but our people have come of age and are now knowledgeable and highly educated to be fooled by anyone in these times.

          • Observer says:

            As an American, let me assure you that we string up the followers of tyranny only slightly lower than the leaders. And as far as following a country’s laws to the letter, I would like you to tell that to an Italian or anyone from Eastern Europe. Disobedience of the law (AKA crime) happens everywhere. You are holding up a false example to instill obedience in a society with limited access to outside information.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            You could be right as just as recent as 2001, George W. Bush in the United States stole an election in Florida which should have gone to Al Gore. In the Washington Post of 23 July 2001, Bush wished that the election was over and wanted everybody to forget about what happened in Florida and accepted him as the legitimate president of the United States of America. And the New York Times raised serious ethical questions about the Bush campaign and by extension, the Bush presidency.

          • Harry_the_Horrible says:

            Disobedience to Tyranny is Duty to God.
            Go rot.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            You can kiss my butt mate. I can assure you that my butt is cooler than you mate.

          • I am swedish, and I guarantee you that such a law would not be followed here either, rather be totally ignored, campained against and be subversed in any possible way, because it is agains basic human rights. Yes, in general people in europe follow the laws, but that is because the laws are based on constitutions that says no law is allowed to be in conflict with human rights.

        • ProfdelaPaz says:

          Ian Smith’s Rhodesia was better for it’s citizens – black or white – than the ZANU regime that’s replaced it has been. When the government must regulate thought, maybe the government shouldn’t be in the business of regulating at all. But if the law is to be followed to the T, why was Mr. Smith’s government illegal? It had the force of law behind it.

          Oh, right, you didn’t agree with THOSE laws. How silly of me.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            No sensible person can really accept the above crap you have posted to please your rhodie friends or is it to show off your ignorance and stupidity. Any illegal and diabolic regime that imposed its will on my people can not be described as better for its citizens – black or white. I am sure your level of education is zilch or zero. It is, therefore, a waste of my time talking to a brick wall like you.

          • ProfdelaPaz says:

            You aren’t making an argument. You’re simply blathering repeated non-sequiturs in the hope that pure force of annoyance causes me to capitulate. Unfortunately for you, I don’t have much better to be doing right now, so that won’t work.

            Your argument is that the laws of a country must be enforced, even if they’re stupid. Under the accepted law within the borders of Rhodesia not only validated Ian Smith’s government as legal, but branded the ZANU and ZAPU as insurgents and terrorists. The ZANU-led government which formed afterwards in the form of Mugabe’s dictatorship decreased living conditions and societal freedoms for both whites, who enjoyed an extraordinary amount of liberty and power under minority rule, and blacks who, though discriminated against, were still better off in socioeconomic and political power terms under minority rule than under Mugabe’s regime, where the country was thrust into decades of economic contraction and hyperinflation. This isn’t my opinion or something I made up to please my Rhodie friends (I don’t think I actually known any Rhodesians), these are verifiable, empirical facts. You could make the argument that this deprivation of socioeconomic prosperity and political rights is good, because you believe in whatever cockamamie theory Mugabe’s education system taught you was right, but you cannot dismiss an argument out of hand because you don’t like it and expect to be taken seriously.

            Oh, and my education would get me a job teaching at any University on your continent.

          • Chimbwidos Warvets says:

            Of course, after the Berlin Conference of 1884 when 14 despots of Europe decided to divide the African continent without the participation and concurrence of the African people many other weird things happened soon after the conference. King Leopold ll of Belgium, who ruled one of the smallest countries on the European continent got his own enclave on the African continent which was far bigger than his own country and which he exploited by working the natives of this country to death without paying them a penny. It is estimated that over 10 million people of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo perished when extracting raw rubber for the personal wealth and glory of King Leopold ll of Belgium. Other despots of the European continent who attended this conference also got their territories on the African continent and helped in drawing the boundaries of the African countries to what they are at present. This was diabolic and evil, mate.
            Missionaries were immediately dispatched to the so-called dark continent of Africa to spread the word of God as if the African people did not have their own religion.The most foolish school teachers who were running away from disease, poverty and starvation that were rampant on the European continent, came to Africa to make a fast buck. If you had been borne this time around, perhaps you could have landed yourself a job teaching at a primary school somewhere in the rural areas of the country, and not at the present times when the African people have come of age, mate. Africa can no longer be taken to granted as we now ask questions unlike before when we just accepted chuff.

          • ProfdelaPaz says:

            If a government is made up of evil, self-serving, diabolical men, then why does the color of their skin matter? I’m not arguing that European rule was the best thing ever for Africa – it wasn’t. I’m simply arguing that the dictatorships that replaced many of the Colonies were just as bad, and in many cases, worse. The color of the despots skin doesn’t prevent them from being a despot, my friend.

        • In a democratic society the laws should not contradict basic human rights, and one such right is the freedom to search and receive information from whatever sources you want. Any country that want to call itself a democracy should have provisions for this in its constitution, and laws trying to forbid such basic human right should in themselves be regarded as illegal.

  2. philani ncube says:

    Believe me this party will loose the elections very very resoundingly that they will never forget.People know exactly what they want,you cannot force people to do what you want.This is a signthat people are fed up about ZANU PF there is no question about that one.

  3. John says:

    There are two types of people in this world, people that want to be left alone, and people that won’t leave them alone. And the people that don’t want to leave you alone, often find there way to power in government. It happens in EVERY country where government is tried. Sadly, people think this is necessary in order to be civilized. It’s insanity.

  4. Greg says:

    More wonderful tyranny from Comrade Bob…what a tool!

  5. Frank Yosso says:

    I thank God I live in America where I can listen to any broadcast shortwave or conventional am radio without fear and my radio would always be mine…

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