Monday, June 26, 2006

Cross Posted on Global Voice

Zimbabwe: The Interception of Communications Bill is having a pronounced toll on the Zimbabwean blogosphere. Posts from domestic bloggers have slowed down noticably over the last two weeks. Despite this tragic reality, several cyberactivists continue to chronicle the largely unheard Zimbabwean story.

The unceremonious death of Tichaona Jokonya, the minister of information is the biggest news out of Zimbabwe this weekend. Jokonya died in his hotel room Saturday morning. Describing Jokonya's death Zimpundit expresses reservations about late minister regarding his role with the Interception of Communications Bill,
Jokonya’s tenure at the helm of the ministry was clearly marked by a softening of the government’s stance on independent media practitioners. Jokonya was even rumoured to have been making benign attempts at “defrosting” relations between his ministry and the independent media establishment.

Lately, he appeared to have buckled down and had began singing along to ZANU-PF’s abuses of independent media. Addressing a press conference earlier last week, Jokonya described locally based correspondents of foreign media as “traitors” saying,

“You know what the end of a traitor is? The end of a traitor is always death. The unfortunate thing about a traitor is that you are killed by both your own people and the person whom you are serving,”

Further, even though it is yet unclear what role he played in instituting it, the repressive Interception of Communications Bill came into effect during Jokonya’s reign.

Still on the subject of death, the father of Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC died this past week too. Zimbabwe's overenthusiastic police brazenly distrupted funeral proceedings calling on MDC supporters at the funeral to remove party regalia they had on. Said The Bearded Man
The police have overstepped the mark and I am horrified at the actions. A death in the family is hard enough, without Mugabe's heavy-handed tactics making it any harder. Morgan, I am so sorry for your loss. My sympathies to you and you family. May your father rest in peace.

The Bearded Man continues to do daily news roundups. (more...)
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