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Namibia: The Bermuda Triangle of African Homophobia
How Zimbabwe's Mugabe drives the regional anti-gay bandwagon.

Zimbabwe: Outlasting Opposition

NOVEMBER 8, 2001. Geoff Nyaroata, the editor of Zimbabwe's only current privately-owned daily newspaper, The Daily News, was jailed in Harare today for ostensibly falsifying information when he set up his publishing group in 1999.

He denies all charges, but the arrest put an exclamation point on yesterday's government announcement that only civil servants will be allowed to monitor next year's presidential election. Thus, local civic organizations join the European Union and other foreigners on the growing slag heap of forbidden observers.

Unsurprisingly, critics charge the government with preparing to rig results. Polls show Morgan Tsvangirai, candidate of the Movement for Democratic Change, with a lead over Robert Mugabe, who has ruled the country since independence in 1980, first as prime minister, then president.

Mugabe seems to be relying on the haphazard "redistribution" of land from whites to poor blacks to swing the vote in his favor, as Zimbabwe faces 60 percent unemployment and an astronomical rate of inflation. Nyaroata's previous arrest was in August after publishing a story revealing that police officers participated in the looting of white-owned farms. A few months before, his printing press was destroyed by a bomb.

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