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Cablegate: Independent Editors Launch Forum

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS HARARE 001423

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/PD, AF/S, AF/RA
NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER
LONDON FOR GURNEY
PARIS FOR NEARY
NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PHUM KPAO ZI
SUBJECT: INDEPENDENT EDITORS LAUNCH FORUM


1. Editors of five privately-owned mainstream newspapers
have launched a national editors' forum "to promote and
defend press freedom and free speech" in Zimbabwe. The
Zimbabwe National Editor's Forum (ZINEF) was launched on
June 12 by editors Geoff Nyarota of "The Daily News,"
Francis Mdlongwa of the weekly "The Financial Gazette,"
Iden Wetherell of the weekly "Zimbabwe Independent,"
Bornwell Chakaodza of the "The Sunday Standard," and Chiza
Ngwira, editor of the monthly magazine "Parade."

2. ZINEF's self-described mission is to challenge laws
that threaten media freedom and freedom of expression, and
to encourage the government to ensure transparency,
openness and accountability in public administration.

3. Meanwhile, an article carried in the June 13 edition
of the "Financial Gazette," reports that the independent
media in Zimbabwe are preparing to take the government to
court to challenge sections of the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). The move comes two
days before a government deadline for the registration of
media organizations. Under AIPPA, no newspaper, radio or
television station, advertising agency or journalist will
be allowed to operate after June 16 unless they are
registered with or accredited by the Media and Information
Commission. However, the Media Commission has not yet set
up registration or accreditation processes, and Chairman
Tafataona Mahoso has said that the Commission will not take
immediate action against unregistered media organizations
or journalists.
SULLIVAN

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