Zimbabwe: journalists flee

Three international reports have fled Zimbabwe ahead of President Robert Mugabe’s 81st birthday celebrations, and a fourth is in hiding after police searches their offices and threatened to have them arrested for slandering the state. Those who fled, Angus Shaw of AP, Brian Latham of Bloomberg news and Jaan Raath of the London Times, left last week following a Zimbabwe Central Intelligence Organization statement that it had launched a manhunt for a fourth journalist, Cornelius Nduna, a freelancer for several news organizations. Nduna has yet to be found. His lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, said the government accused him of possessing videotapes shot at a training camp for the Green Bombers, a government-backed youth militia. (AP, Feb. 22)

Days earlier, the International Federation of Journalists condemned Zimbabwe’s government for unleashing "a new wave of intimidation and terror against media" in advance of hotly contested elections to take place March 31. "For the last two years, Zimbabwe’s media have been in a state of censorship and paralysis," said IFJ general secretary Aidan White. (AllAfrica.com, Feb. 15)

I know all us lefties are supposed to be cheering on Mugabe, but this doesn’t smell very good, does it?

See WW4R #94.