Zimbabwe revokes British journalists' accreditation

Harare- Zimbabwe (PANA) -- Zimbabwe Thursday revoked the accreditation of all British Broadcasting Corporation correspondents in the country over alleged misrepresentation of events in the southern African country.
The suspension follows Tuesday's report in which the corporation alleged President Robert Mugabe had "vowed to continue with the forcible acquisition of white farmland" when he officially opened a new session of parliament.
Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said the report, filled by BBC reporter Rageh Omaar, was false, and accused the corporation of always distorting and misrepresenting events in the country.
"The time has come for the BBC to follow and uphold in Zimbabwe the same professional and ethical standards it follows in Britain.
That is the bottom line, nothing less or more," he said in his letter suspending the accreditation of all BBC correspondents in the country.
"It is apparent that, as it has happened many times before, the BBC approached the President's speech with a preconceived view to distorting it, to give a false impression that there is no rule of law in Zimbabwe," he added.
The suspension of the accreditation of the corporation's correspondents in Zimbabwe is the latest clash between the authorities and BBC this year.
Early this year, BBC reporter Joseph Winter was expelled from Zimbabwe for allegedly obtaining an extension of his work permit irregularly.
Relations between Zimbabwe and former colonial power Britain, have soured in recent years over President Mugabe's plans to compulsorily acquire idle farms from white farmers, who own the bulk of the country's arable land, to resettle landless peasants.
British media organisations, particularly the BBC, have been sharply critical of the government's land reform plans.

26 july 2001 14:21:00

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