Closure of Tribune is 'purely political'

Press freedom groups have condemned a government order closing The Tribune weekly newspaper in Zimbabwe and accused President Robert Mugabe’s regime of yet another act of censorship, writes Jon Slattery.

Zimbabwe’s notorious Media and Information Commission has cancelled The Tribune’s operating licence for a year, claiming it did not comply with accreditation procedures under the country’s draconian media laws.

The same reasons were given for closing the independent Daily News by the Zimbabwean authorities.

Reporters Without Borders said: “This repressive law, giving the MIC the powers of a press tribunal, has once again been used by Robert Mugabe’s government to silence dissident voices in Zimbabwe.”

The International Federation of Journalists also condemned the closure as a “purely political act”. General secretary Aidan White added: “We are additionally concerned by the fate of 20 journalists thrown on the streets.”

Meanwhile, Daily News publisher Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe has begun libel proceedings against Zimbabwe’s minister of information, Jonathan Moyo, over an allegation he made against the company in the Herald.

Moyo accused ANZ of publishing “anti-Zimbabwe stories meant to peddle British intelligence propaganda”.

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