Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Zim's "spies in Media" scandal


...Government sources said State Security Minister Didymus Mutasa was expected to meet senior intelligence officers in a bid to limit the damage caused by media reports that Zimbabwe’s state security agency, the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), had taken over three private newspapers using billions in taxpayers’ funds. The development further cripples independent critical voices in the country....

The CIO reportedly copied their strategy of owning newspapers through shell companies or as silent shareholders from Angola, where the intelligence service owns the largest circulating daily.

Mugabe’s government already controls a chain of newspapers under the Zimpapers stable, and enjoys a monopoly of the airwaves.

Over the past five years, the government has intensified media tyranny in tandem with political oppression as part of its political survival strategy.

Dozens of journalists of the independent media have been arrested and foreign correspondents deported. The Independent newspaper named CIO officers deployed to the three newspapers to tighten the intelligence service’s grip on the publications....

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