Friday, June 30, 2006

Botswana reporters being tried in Zim

They came to Zim to report on Footand Mouth disease outbreak, but are being charged with immigration irregularities...

"....When they appeared in court, Seofela (25) and Mokoba (29) were not formally charged with contravening the Immigration Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. They are out of custody on $4 million (P231) bail each. It is alleged that on 30 April this year, the two scribes entered Zimbabwe illegally as they did not have passports. They allegedly approached veterinary officers at Mphoengs border post carrying cameras seeking information about a Foot and Mouth disease outbreak. A police officer who was patrolling the area got wind of their presence and approached them for questioni ng.

"The officer then discovered that the journalists were allegedly not accredited by the state-appointed Media and Information Commission and that they illegally entered the country. Seofela and Mokoba were then arrested and their equipment confiscated. A journalist covering a story in Zimbabwe needs to be registered with the Media and Information Commission and be granted a licence..."

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