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VOA Provides Critical Information on Zimbabwe Referendum

As Zimbabwe prepares for Saturday’s planned constitutional referendum, VOA’s Studio 7 is broadcasting crucial information about key elements of the charter, which calls for limits on the powers of the president and the elimination of the prime minister post.

VOA’s Studio 7, one of the leading international broadcasters in Zimbabwe, has published the full text of the draft constitution on its website (here) and has been providing in-depth coverage of constitutional issues online and on its 90-minute evening radio broadcast.

A 30-minute call-in program, LiveTalk, which follows the regular Monday through Friday broadcast, has hosted guests from all parties in the national unity government, activists and academics, as well as experts from the U.S. and around the world.

Audience feedback has been positive. “Thank you to Studio 7 for all of your Referendum news!”, one person wrote. Another said, “Thank you to Studio 7 for bringing us the truth of these matters.”

In addition to broadcasting key provisions of the proposed constitution, VOA is providing extensive coverage of both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ supporters. The shows include segments on citizenship, the powers of the president and gender equality. Additional programs on constitutional issues are planned.

The referendum is expected to be followed by national elections and Studio 7 will offer interviews from candidates in all the parties and their plans to address specific issues. Studio 7 also has a new media presence online, on Facebook, and mobile sites with links to audio downloads and top stories.

With more than 11,000 SMS subscribers, Studio 7 offers news alerts and other information for mobile phone users. Studio 7 broadcasts in three languages: English, Shona, and Ndebele.

Research shows that VOA is well known among Zimbabweans. Studio 7’s overall reach is driven primarily by radio, with 13.5% of Zimbabwean adults tuning in every week, according to the most recent audience survey.

Domestic media in Zimbabwe remains tightly controlled and the government has recently begun confiscating shortwave radios which are commonly used to listen to the Voice of America.

For more information about this release contact Kyle King at the VOA Public Relations office in Washington at (202) 203-4959, or write For more information about VOA visit our Public Relations website at, or the main VOA news site at