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Zimbabwe paper threatened over interview with Archbishop

The Zimbabwean government's Media and Information Commission has threatened to close down the country's latest newspaper, the Weekly Times, within seven days after its first edition, which carried an interview with Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo (pictured).

In a letter to Mthwakazi Publishing House, publishers of the community-based paper, commission chairman Tafataona Mahoso, accused the publishers of "lying" that their paper would be a general news product when according to him it was "running political commentary through and through."

Mahoso also took offence that the paper, which published its first issue last week, had given space to Catholic archbishop Pius Ncube, who is a known government critic.

The commission chairman said the publishers should have sent him copies of the first edition before selling them to the public.

The government's media watchman said because of the alleged offences, he was going to suspend or cancel the paper's registration certificate and gave the publishers, "seven days, to show cause why your publishing licence should not be suspended or cancelled."

Three newspapers including the country's only independent and biggest circulating daily paper, the Daily News, were shut in the last two years under tough state media laws.

Zimbabwe: paper threatened with closure after printing Pius Ncube interview (Independent Catholic News 12/1/05)

Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops' Conference | Commission for Justice and Peace
Zimbabwe (Amnesty International report

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13 Jan 2005