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Last Updated: Friday, 6 April 2007, 21:22 GMT 22:22 UK
Harare sets up new radio station
Robert Mugabe
Mugabe's regime is trying to reverse Western "propaganda"
Zimbabwe is setting up a new radio station to counter what it calls Western propaganda against President Robert Mugabe.

"We are under siege and being bombarded by the Western media broadcasting to our people," Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu said.

The short wave station will become the fifth state-run radio station in the state and will cost Z$8.9bn ($39.6m).

The station is being partly funded by the Iranian government.

"There will be a revolutionary development in the media. We should be able to tell our own story," Mr Ndlovu was quoted by news agency AFP after a meeting with Iranian diplomats in the capital Harare.

'Strengthen relationship'

It will go on air before 18 April, before the country celebrates the 27th anniversary of Robert Mugabe's regime coming to power.

According to AFP, the Iranian ambassador to Harare, Rasoul Momeni, agreed to help refurbish the state broadcaster's studios in the second-largest city of Bulawayo.

The Iranians have already reported to have donated money for upgrading studios in Harare.

"We are going to strengthen our relationship, especially in technically upgrading radio and television stations," Mr Momeni was quoted as saying by Zimbabwe's The Herald newspaper. The ambassador said there should be an exchange programme of media experts between the two countries.

"I hope and I am sure I will do my best for these nice people under the friendship that exists now. I see a bright future for Zimbabwe," he said.

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