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Africa
Mugabe strips critic of citizenship
The Zimbabwean government seeks to silence newspaper group's owner.
Last Modified: 30 Dec 2006 14:10 GMT
 Mugabe is blamed by his critics for Zimbabwe's economic hardships [EPA]

The government of Robert Mugabe has, in an attempt to silence one of the president's fiercest internal critics, stripped the owner of Zimbabwe's largest private newspaper group of his citizenship.

 

The Zimbabwe registrar general said Trevor Ncube, publisher of South Africa's Mail and Guardian newspaper, was not entitled to Zimbabwean citizenship.

State media on Saturday quoted Tobaiwa Mudede as saying that Ncube was a Zambian citizen by descent. Zimbabwe prohibits dual citizenship.
 
Foreigners in the southern African nation are forbidden from having majority-control of local media.

"His failure to comply with the requirement to renounce Zambian citizenship by descent within the prescribed period automatically meant loss of Zimbabwean citizenship," Mudede said in court papers, according to the state-owned Herald newspaper.

 

Passport seized

   

Ncube had his passport seized last year after parliament passed a constitutional amendment which allowed the government to impose travel bans on "traitors" or those deemed to be harming national interests. He is contesting the decision to strip him of his citizenship.

 

Analysts say the decision to confiscate the passports of critics is a sign of growing panic within Mugabe's government in the face of worsening economic problems that many blame on the president's policies.

   

Ncube's newspapers regularly run stories critical of Mugabe's 26-year rule.

Source:
Agencies
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