British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporter Philip Hayton, the first journalist to be expelled from Zimbabwe under a recently imposed ban for South African-based journalists, arrived with his camera-crew in Johannesburg on August 2.
JOHANNESBURG; AUGUST 2 (BREYTENBACH)
GV BBC reporter Philip Hayton and camera-crew going through customs.
SV Hayton speaking to reporters. (SOT)
HARARE; AUGUST 1 (CHILTON)
SV Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe speaking. (SOT)
TRANSCRIPT: REPORTER: (SEQ 2) "Mr. Hayton, how do you feel about you expulsion?"
HAYTON: "Well, I think it is a sad day for us and a bad day for Zimbabwe. We are sad, because we spent so many years covering the country. We know the people, we like the place and all of a sudden we were booted on the next plane, we had our videotape confiscated at the airport on the way out. It is a bad day for Zimbabwe, because it is another blow for press freedom."
MUGABE: (SEQ 3) "It has been particularly disheartening for us in Zimbabwe to be forced to take action recently against a British journalist for such blatantly inaccurate reporting and deliberate distortion, as those which were published in the press. Your society with its unique links in Britain and Zimbabwe has a major role to play in informing the British public accurately about our country and accuracy here does not mean just killing. Those things, which are palatable to Zimbabwe, but also explaining objectively those, which may not be palatable. Both the things that we correctly do and the things that we incorrectly do. Tell the British public about the real Zimbabwe, about our policy of reconciliation and why not tell them that we are peace-loving people, who refuse to be the initiators of violence and international aggression. You know that the South Africans spend millions and millions of dollars in distorting events in this part of the world and in the international media. Your society has a major role to play in combatting these distortions and untruths."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reporter Philip Hayton, the first journalist to be expelled from Zimbabwe under a recently imposed ban for South African-based journalists, arrived with his camera-crew in Johannesburg on August 2. Hayton, the BBC's Southern Africa television correspondent, said at the airport that it is a say day for press freedom and a bad day for Zimbabwe. He told reporters that Zimbabwe officials had confiscated a videotape they were carrying as they prepared to board the plane at Harare airport. The expulsion followed a decision last weekend by Ministers of Information from six Southern African states to ban foreign correspondents working from South Africa from their territories. Zimbabwe enforced the move soon afterwards. The other countries were Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia. Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has rejected a request from the Foreign Correspondent Association of Southern Africa (FCA) to lift the ban. Speaking to the Zimbabwean-British Society on August 1 in Harare, Zimbabwean Prime Minister Robert Mugabe defended the expulsion of Philip Hayton. He said Hayton's reporting had been so deliberately distorted and inaccurate, therefore Zimbabwe was forced to expel him. He asked the journalists to report not only things which are not palatable for Zimbabwe.