[NEWS AND VIEWS]
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December 11, 2003Firm and unbending. "Studio 7 will die. It faces death. They think we are sleeping; we want to see where they are going," a typically subtle threat to media freedom from Zimbabwe Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo.
But Wilson Johwa reports that cyber cafes are doing well: "Devon, a cyber cafe assistant in Bulawayo, says there has been an upsurge in the number of people, "from school children to old men in their sixties", using the Internet. He says apart from checking mail and searching for jobs, users visit news portals and read online newspapers."
Great context for President Mugabe's speech yesterday.
The President claimed that the information society was built on the same platform and with the same technologies "through which virulent propaganda and misinformation are peddled to de legitimise our just struggles against vestigial colonialism, indeed to weaken national cohesion and efforts at forging a broad Third World front against what patently is a dangerous imperial world order led by warrior states and kingdoms."
In particular, he accused the United Kingdom and United States of "using their ICT superiority to challenge our sovereignty through hostile and malicious broadcasts calculated to foment instability and destroy the state through divisions."
Even the concept of a free-press should not be taken at face value: "The quest for an information society should not be at the expense of our efforts towards building sovereign national societies. Our national society does not exist to serve ICTs or information."
"Both must be instruments that serve our society as it seeks fullness through balanced development and self-determination. Both must express themselves within the parameters of our inviolate sovereignty represented by our democratic national will which expresses itself through our national laws, our national policies and our national institutions."
"On this we are firm and unbending."