Far from being convinced by the establishment of a Government of National Unity (GNU) in Zimbabwe, the European Union (EU) has added additional journalists and media managers from the state media to the list of people affected by sanctions, writes our correspondent.

The has EU accused the seven journalists of whipping up a government terror campaign in the-run up to the June 2008 presidential run-off election.

They were further accused of seriously undermining freedom of expression and the media in Zimbabwe.

On the list is  Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) chief correspondent, Reuben Barwe; diplomatic correspondent Judith Makwanya; current affairs producer Musorowegomo Mukosi; ZBC acting chief executive officer CEO Happison Muchechetere, Zimbabwe Newspapers CEO Justin Mutasa, Pikirai Deketeke, editor of The Herald,  senior assistant editor Caesar Zvayi and The Sunday Mail political editor Munyaradzi Huni.

Jongwe Printers, a company owned by Zanu PF, and the political party's mouthpiece The Voice were also placed on the sanctions list.

Meanwhile, The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has written to Zimbabwe's new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai urging him to remove repressive media laws and allow the operations of banned newspapers.

The CPJ also wants detained former journalist Jestina Mukoko and freelance  photojournalist Anderson Shadreck Manyere freed.

Both Mukoko and Manyere have been in prison since their abductions in December by state security agents for allegedly being involved in banditry.

"The current media environment remains hostile to the independent press and will ensure partisan press coverage of any future developments made under the auspices of the new power-sharing alliance," CPJ executive director Joel Simon said in the letter dated February 13.

"CPJ calls on the new unity government to move swiftly to free the media from control by the ruling party," he added.

Simon said the government should free the media from state control, repeal prohibitive media taxes and allow the return of exiled journalists among a list of measures to ensure a vibrant media in Zimbabwe.

"The government of national unity should take immediate steps to abolish laws that require licensing of newspapers and journalists, allow the banned Daily News to recommence operations, end jamming of foreign radio stations, permit all local and foreign journalists who have been deported, banned, or forced into exile for security concerns to return safely and without harassment," the CPJ said.

Simon also urged the establishment of community radio stations. These  are allowed in terms of the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), but none have been licensed to date.

The Daily News and its sister publication The Daily News on Sunday published by the privately owned Associated Newspapers of
Zimbabwe(ANZ) were closed in September 2003 by the Media and Information Commission (MIC) using the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

Two weeklies – The Tribune and Weekly Times -  were also shut down using the same law while independent television  – Joy TV – was closed down by the then Information Minister Jonathan Moyo for "violating"
the BSA.

The CPJ reminded Tsvangirai, who last week joined President Robert Mugabe in government under a power-sharing deal brokered by the regional SADC bloc, that he and his Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party had long campaigned for a free press and should live up to their promise.