Zimbabwe wants to ban foreign papers
Harare - Zimbabwe's media commission on Thursday said it will ask authorities to ban foreign newspapers that are not registered to operate in the country.
"The Zimbabwe media commission has resolved to bar affected papers from entrance into and circulation within Zimbabwe until they comply with Zimbabwe's laws," commission chair Godfrey Majonga said in a statement.
Majonga singled out South Africa's Sunday Times newspaper as having failed to comply with the rules, which require all journalists working in the country to obtain accreditation from the commission.
"We regret that one and a half years since our reminder to the affected media services to comply with Zimbabwe's laws by regularising their status and that of all journalists working for them, the same papers and journalists are operating exactly as they were doing a year ago," Majonga said.
Media in Zimbabwe have operated under stringent rules for the last decade, with several newspapers forced to shut down while journalists and foreign correspondents have been deported and harassed by the police.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who joined long-ruling President Robert Mugabe in a shaky unity government three years ago, has vowed to abolish the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, which bars foreign journalists from working permanently in the country.
The 2002 act forced media organisations and journalists to register with a government body and has been invoked to arrest independent journalists.
The slow pace of media reforms is one of the main sticking points in the unity accord between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.