Government announces suspension of private newspaper

New York, June 10, 2004—The private weekly newspaper The Tribune was ordered closed today by the government-controlled Media and Information Commission (MIC) for violating sections of Zimbabwe’s draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).

Tafataona Mahoso, the MIC chairman, announced today that the newspaper’s license would be suspended for one year. He said that Africa Tribune Newspapers, the company that owns The Tribune, violated Section 67 of AIPPA by failing to inform the MIC of changes in the title, publication frequency, and ownership of the newspaper.

The Tribune will be the second newspaper to be shuttered under Zimbabwe’s repressive media laws. The Daily News, Zimbabwe’s only independent daily, was forced to close in February 2004.

“President Robert Mugabe is killing off Zimbabwe’s independent newspapers, one by one,” said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper. “The victims are the people of Zimbabwe, who are cut off from information about their own government.”