New York, December 13, 2001—The Committee to Protect Journalists applauds the creation on December 7 of the Zimbabwe Foreign Correspondents Association (ZFCA), which has vowed to challenge a restrictive new press law in court.
The draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill would allow only Zimbabwean citizens to work for foreign media. A Media and Information Commission created by the bill would accredit local journalists on an annual basis.
Authorities, who have described foreign correspondents and some local reporters as “terrorists,” claim that the proposed legislation will keep “dangerous elements” out of Zimbabwe.
The ZFCA also plans to boycott the accreditation system mandated by the bill, which President Mugabe has yet to sign into law.
The ZFCA’s executive committee includes: Cris Chinaka of Reuters; Jan Raath of The Times of London; Susan Njanji of AFP; and Andrew Meldrum of The Guardian and The Economist.