300 foreign journalists to cover elections

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At least 300 foreign journalists have arrived in Zimbabwe to cover Saturday’s crunch poll, according to Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu.

The Minister said Thursday that the high number of foreign journalists allowed to cover the poll showed President Robert Mugabe’s government had nothing to hide, contrary to widespread foreign media reports it planned to rig the election.

He said more foreign journalists were expected in the country before polling, even though those who have arrived so far constitute the highest number of journalists ever to turn up for an event in Zimbabwe.

The election, in which President Robert Mugabe is trying to fend off a fierce challenge from two opposition presidential contenders, has attracted huge local, regional and international interest more than ever before.

But the authorities have banned journalists from some countries and organisations, including the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which it accuses of bias in favour of the opposition.

Ndlovu said in addition to formally-accredited foreign journalists, newsmen from some countries had illegally entered the country to cover the poll unauthorised. Panapress

International  International news in general
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