The current situation in Zimbabwe under the ZANU-PF government shows increasing signs of abuse of power by those in political control. They also direct their desire to suppress criticism towards the media. Press organs in private ownership have been closed down and journalists have been physically harassed, arrested and expelled. Laws are abused to regulate and manipulate public opinion by a policy of banning. Worldwide condemnation of the growing restrictions upon the freedom of expression goes hand in hand with the protests inside the country against the growing tendencies of totalitarian rule. Current events are critically reflected upon and the background to these developments is summarised in this publication. It is based on some of the contributions to a recent conference on Zimbabwe organised by the Nordic Africa Institute and offers insights into the contested space of public opinion in Zimbabwe. The critical analyses of current developments are there-by complemented with particular reference to the media sector in the ongoing battle for hegemonic control over the public sphere.
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