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Cablegate: Zimbabwean Government Bans Return of Its Own

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

UNCLAS HARARE 002454

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREL KPAO ZI
SUBJECT: ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT BANS RETURN OF ITS OWN
CITIZENS


1. On November 8 government-owned media reported that the
Government of Zimbabwe (GOZ) has imposed travel bans and
visa requirements on a variety of people. Among those
affected are British government officials, members of the
British Parliament, an American human rights activist, and
journalists. In a strange and disturbing twist, several of
the journalists reported banned from entering Zimbabwe are
Zimbabwean citizens.

2. The travel ban falls most heavily on about 70 members
of the British government and parliament. One American,
John Prendergast of the International Crisis Group, and one
Dutch citizen, Lodewijk Bouwens of Radio Netherlands, are
also listed as banned. More broadly, all British citizens
are now required to apply for a visa (either at a
Zimbabwean embassy or at the port of arrival) for entry
into Zimbabwe. Before this announcement, British citizens
were permitted to enter Zimbabwe without a visa. These
moves appear to be in retaliation for the just-announced
requirement that visas will be required of all Zimbabweans
wishing to travel to the UK.

3. Most disturbing is the inclusion of eight Zimbabwean
journalists on the list of persons prohibited from entering
Zimbabwe. The eight are all in London working for Short
Wave Radio Africa, an independent station broadcasting
Zimbabwe-specific programming. According to the press
report, the banned journalists are John Matinde, Gerry
Jackson, Georgina Godwin, Simon Parkinson, Mandisa
Mundawara, Violet Gonda, Tererai Karimakwenda and Graeme
Counsel. If the press report of the banning order is true,
the Government of Zimbabwe has made 8 of its citizens
stateless.

SULLIVAN

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