AL Jazeera opens bureau in Zimbabwe


Al Jazeera International, the new 24-hour English-language news and current affairs channel, headquartered in Doha, announced today that it will be the first international channel to open a bureau in Harare, the Republic of Zimbabwe.

“We will be the only international news channel with a base in Zimbabwe,” said Director of News, Steve Clark on a visit to Harare accompanied by Managing Editor, Omar Bec and Bureau Chief- Africa, Andrew Simmons.

“Africa is one of the most pivotal places in the world to report from. It is a continent of hope and change. It is fascinating to be the only international news channel based in Zimbabwe where we hope to produce a range of news reports and programmes”, continued Steve Clark.

The channel will have an unparalleled presence and unrivalled expertise in Africa with the Harare bureau giving Al Jazeera International unique access to Southern Africa.

The channel also announced that it has appointed experienced journalist Farai Sevenzo as correspondent for Zimbabwe and award winning camerman/producer Cyrus Nhara based at the Harare bureau.

Speaking on the appointments Andrew Simmons stated, ” Zimbabwe has many untold stories. As a new global network it’s crucial that we tackle all of Africa’s big issues with the objectivity and expertise this continent deserves. Having two of Africa’s best broadcast journalists on the ground in Zimbabwe will bolster our newsgathering operation and give our viewers an insight they won’t find elsewhere.”

Sevenzo, over the last three years has been a regular contributor to the UK’s Channel 4 News and to the same channel’s Unreported World programme. He has also contributed to the BBC’s African coverage.

“Having worked on Zimbabwean stories over the past six years, the opportunity to report on the ground for Al Jazeera International proved too tempting. Al Jazeera International is an exciting station with a remit to change the way the world views news. I shall be part of bringing undiscovered stories from Zimbabwe and the region. I’m very excited and look forward to the challenge enormously,” said Sevenzo.

As both a writer and director for film, television and radio, Farai Sevenzo has switched between documentary and fiction in his coverage of major African issues. Sevenzo’s work in African current affairs has seen him report on wars in Sierra Leone, Liberia, the Congo and Northern Uganda. As a documentary filmmaker, Sevenzo recorded the ongoing events in Zimbabwe with a series of personal observations that began with the award-winning Zimbabwe 2002. In The Children’s War, he covered the Lords Resistance Army’s hold on northern Uganda. He has also worked in Africa as an independent filmmaker and radio producer.

Zimbabwe-born Cyrus Nhara, for the last four years has worked as a Reuters television journalist in his home country. Nhara has also worked as a freelance cameraman/producer in Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania for various international broadcasters, including ITN, Channel 4, CBS and the BBC.

“This is one of the most exciting projects in television history and it’s great to be part of it,” said Nhara.

Nhara won the 2005 Rory Peck Trust Impact Award, and was a 2005 Royal Television Society cameraman nominee.


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