Zimbabwe’s 1st TV shuts down amid funding crisis

The two months old privately-owned channel, 1st TV, which described itself as Zimbabwe’s first free independent TV station, has suspended its operations due to a lack of funds. The channel used to broadcast from South Africa into Zimbabwe via satellite and the Internet.

1st TV was launched in July ahead of Zimbabwe’s elections and aimed to provide an alternative voice to the state controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC). The station, which depended on funding from private entities and groups supporting human rights, freedom and democracy, has now had to go off air while it raises more resources and sources more programming.

“Our pledge to you, is that when we return it will be on a permanent basis and it will be with improved entertainment programming, more soaps, movies and dramas as well improved education, information and news programmes” the station said in a statement.