The Zimbabwe government has threatened foreign correspondents with
unspecified action for their reporting of the crisis in that country,
writes Torby Muturikwa.
In a statement, the Ministry of Information and Publicity hit out at coverage on CNN, calling it ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œbiased reportage of the situation in the countryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. The ministry also accused some foreign embassies based in Harare of clandestinely bringing in journalists to build up tensions. The government said it was concerned with the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œfalse storiesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â emanating from the network regarding the countryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œsecurity armsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt (government) therefore advises these reporters, who include Peta Thornycroft and Jan Raath, to stay clear of the security forces, indeed to shun an opposition politician who has been deep-throating them. Should this not stop, government may be forced to act against them and the politician,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â said the ministry.
Thornycroft writes for the UK Telegraph, while Raath writes for the Times.
The threats come on the backdrop of the deportation in 2003 of Andrew Meldrum, a correspondent of the Guardian and a permanent Zimbabwean resident.
Meanwhile, a former Daily News news editor, Luke Tamborinyoka, was among 35 activists arrested at the offices of the opposition MDC on charges of possessing arms.