12 Jun


first_img November 12, 2020 Find out more Zimbabwean court must free imprisoned journalist who is unwell Zimbabwe is one of the most-connected countries in Africa, but in 2000 the government passed a law to monitor e-mail. The open warfare waged by President Robert Mugabe against the independent media and locally-based foreign correspondents led in 2002 to passage of a press law that seriously threatens freedom of expression. It was used to prosecute a journalist who had an article posted on the website of the British daily The Guardian that the government objected to.More and more Zimbabweans are logging on to the Internet, especially in the dozens of cybercafés that have opened in the capital, Harare, and major towns. But soon they may not be able to look at websites that contain criticism of President Robert Mugabe’s iron rule.The government pushed through the Posts and Telecommunications Act in November 2000 which regulated online activity by allowing the security services to monitor phone calls and e-mail. The law obliges ISPs and other operators belonging to the Computer Society of Zimbabwe to supply information to the authorities on request and give police and intelligence officials access to their equipment.Censorship and intimidation of journalists sharply increased in 2001 and early 2002 for those who dared criticise President Mugabe and reporters from the independent media were frequently arrested and foreign correspondents deported.At the end of 2001 and during 2002, the government banned most foreign (mainly British) publications but their articles could still be read on their websites. This was the government’s argument in prosecuting Andrew Meldrum, local correspondent for the British daily The Guardian, the weekly The Economist and Radio France International (RFI), in June 2002.It was the first trial of a journalist under the 2002 Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Meldrum was accused of “abuse of journalistic privileges” and “publishing falsehoods.” He had reported in The Guardian an item carried by the independent Zimbabwean paper The Daily News that said activists of the ruling ZANU-PF party had beheaded a woman in a village in the northwest of the country. A few days later, The Daily News admitted that the incident had not been confirmed and apologised to the ZANU-PF. Two of the paper’s journalists, Lloyd Mudiwa and Colin Chiwanza, were arrested on 30 April and Meldrum was picked up the following day.Since The Guardian newspaper is banned in Zimbabwe, the government accused it of publishing the article in the country through its website. A Harare court cleared Meldrum of all charges on 15 July.Links:The Computer Society of ZimbabweThe newspaper The Daily News Organisation Receive email alerts RSF_en ZimbabweAfrica Follow the news on Zimbabwe ZimbabweAfrica News Zimbabwean journalist Hopewell Chin’ono denied bailcenter_img November 27, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa News News September 1, 2020 Find out more June 18, 2003 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Zimbabwe to go further Reportslast_img read more