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Saturday, Aug. 09, 2008 at 11:06 PM
the EU had a journalist on their sanctions list!
their reason? 'The EU accuses Zvayi and Huni of "fueling violence" through their writings in the two state newspapers. '
Sure. But id call this a blatant act of censorship
Zvayi deported from Botswana
Sat, 09 Aug 2008 01:29:00 +0000
ZIMBABWEAN journalist and former senior Herald staffer Caesar Zvayi was yesterday deported from Botswana where he was working as a lecturer for after a spirited campaign by anti-Zanu PF activists to have him deported.
political reasons, a development observers say could have repercussions on regional co-operation.
Zvayi, a former political and features editor of The Herald, was employed at the University of Botswana as a media studies lecturer.
The Herald reports that Botswana State agents delivered the deportation order, which was written and signed by President Ian Seretse Khama “in the presence of journalists”.
According to the paper the whole affair was meant to be a publicity stunt.
"The deportation order came from the President’s office and was handed to Mr Zvayi in front of journalists, mostly from the foreign media though the State broadcaster was also present," a source was quoted by the daily as saying.
Zvayi was recently added on a European Union sanctions list together with another journalist, Munyaradzi Huni, the political editor of The Sunday Mail.
Zvayi was last month hired by UB to lecture in print journalism but was later placed amongst the 137 people published by the EU that have been targeted for sanctions for their support of President Robert Mugabe's regime.
“I make no apologies for supporting Zanu PF because I subscribe to its Pan African values," Zvayi told The Botswana Gazette yesterday.
“I will never support the (Movement for Democratic Change) MDC as currently constituted because to me it is a counter-revolutionary Trojan horse that is working with outsiders to subvert the logical conclusion of the Zimbabwean revolution,” said Zvayi.
“Being at UB does not mean I stop being a Zimbabwean, supporting Zanu PF has no bearing on my qualifications as a journalist or competence as a media practitioner. The maliciousness and childishness of this campaign (to have him deported) is testimony to the fickleness of the people behind it who apparently believe universities employ people on political grounds. They need only look at the University of Zimbabwe today, whose Chancellor is President Mugabe, but which employs vocal MDC office holders, sympathizers and activists like Dr. Lovemore Madhuku, Dr. John Makumbe, and Eliphas Mukonoweshuro, among others.”
The government of President Khama has recently come under criticism for its treatment of journalists.
The editor of the Botswana Gazette, Aubrey Lute, last month criticized a Bill introduced by the Tswana government which he said was aimed at “muzzling the media.”
MmegiOnline accuses President Khama of ruling by decree. “Khama should live up to his promise that he joined politics to defend democracy. We are not too convinced that he is a democrat. Other than the few populist stunts that he made to dupe the gullible masses we see no democrat but a dictator,” said a recent editorial in the paper.
The deportation of Zvayi is likely to cause more diplomatic tension between Botswana and Zimbabwe according to critics.
Last month Botswana’s military was reported to be building up along the Zimbabwean border. President Mugabe responded harshly, warning neighbouring countries to ‘think twice’ before launching an attack against his government.
Opposition leaders in Botswana warned Khama against making derogatory statements about Zimbabwe as the country was a key trading partner with of Zimbabwe.
The opposition Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) said “because of the economic position we have crafted for ourselves, it may not be in our best interests to choose our enemies, especially those that we depend on for our livelihood”.
BPP’s leader, Bernard Balikani read: “It is all very right to be holier than thou and come up with a foreign policy that does not recognize Robert Mugabe and his government. However, we must not forget that the electricity that we import from the Cahora Bassa Dam in Mozambique flows through Zimbabwe.”
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