Press clampdown in Zimbabwe

Independent media outlet raided by police

Zimbabwe's only independent broadcasting station, The Voice of the People, was raided by Zimbabwean police and officials from the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe last Thursday in Harare. Three journalists were arrested and their computers were seixed.Zimbabwe

This is a clear outrage against freedom of expression and freedom of the press, condemned by the Committee to Protect Journslists, which describes the act as “utter contempt” towards any view challenging President Robert Mugabe or his government.

The three journalists, Maria Nyanyiwa, Takunda Gwanda and Nyasha Bosha, were charged under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), and the Broadcasting Act, for violation of the law by practising journalism without the proper documentation, since the station was not licensed. In 2002, the VOP offices were destroyed by an arson attack.

However, if the VOP had asked for a licence, it is clear that the government would not have issued it. This station uses shortwave frequency and broadcasts its signal from the Netherlands.

Robert Mugabe is the worst sort of advertisement for Africa today, which under the able Presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo in the African Union, has managed to present a fresh image of accountability, responsibility and a firm stance against corruption.

Robert Mugabe is a symptom of what was wrong with old Africa, the one replaced by NEPAD and the African Union, the one of which so many Africans were ashamed.

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Author`s name Olga Savka