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Zimbabwe



-  Area : 390,760 sq.km.
-  Population : 13,010,000.
-  Languages : English, Shona, Ndebele.
-  Head of state : Robert G. Mugabe.

Zimbabwe - Annual report 2006

Since 2002, southern Africa’s former “bread basket”, has sunk into an unprecedented economic crisis but also into tyranny. The anti-western obsession of the government has pushed it into annually sharpening its already draconian legislative arsenal. Control mechanisms systematically crush even the slightest hint of criticism. Excessive sentences - 20 years in prison for “publishing false news” - are laid down for all those who fail to respect the rules imposed by the all-powerful ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).

In 2005, as one might expect, the situation worsened still further for independent journalists. The electoral campaign for the 31 March legislative poll was a model of injustice for the opposition, while the government used its new cooperation with China to scramble the signal of the SW Radio Africa. Arrested and threatened with harsh prison sentences, staff on independent media and correspondents for the foreign press, are often taken before the courts or flee the country, even temporarily, to avoid prison.

The Media Information Commission (MIC), in the guise of a media self-regulation body, is in reality the government’s control and censorship office. Chaired by an associate of Robert Mugabe, it has the power to grant or cancel media licences, to issue or withdraw journalists’ accreditations. Those found in contravention face two years in prison.

In these conditions, 2005 was a new year of struggle for the Daily News, once the country’s most popular paper. Today, unlicensed and with dwindling resources, it continues to defend itself before every possible judicial body in a bid to be allowed to reappear.



 
Introduction Africa - Annual report 2006
Burkina Faso
Burundi
Cameroon
Central African Republic
Chad
Cote d’Ivoire
Democratic Republic of Congo
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Guinea
Kenya
Liberia
Madagascar
Malawi
Mali
Mauritania
Mozambique
Niger
Nigeria
Rwanda
Senegal
Sierra Leone
Somalia
Sudan
Tanzania
Togo
Uganda
Zambia

by continent
2006 Africa annual report
2006 Americas annual report
2006 Asia annual report
2006 Europe annual report
2006 Internet annual report
2006 Middle East annual report

Annual report 2005 Annual report 2004 Annual report 2003