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Originally published Wednesday, May 25, 2011 at 7:41 AM

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Media group says Zimbabwe stifles broadcasting

An independent media freedom group says the party of Zimbabwe's president keeps a "stranglehold" on broadcasting in the southern African nation.

The Associated Press

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HARARE, Zimbabwe —

An independent media freedom group says the party of Zimbabwe's president keeps a "stranglehold" on broadcasting in the southern African nation.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa says Zimbabwe, with just one broadcast station airing on four radio wavelengths and two television channels, lags far behind other African countries in opening its airwaves to crucial free expression. The group made the statement Wednesday, Africa Freedom Day.

The group says independent broadcasting mushroomed throughout Africa while Zimbabwe's electronic media "stagnated" under President Robert Mugabe's control as a propaganda tool for his party.

The group says other nations have more radio stations. Uganda, which recently cracked down on the media, has more than 120. Tiny Benin has 73.

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