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Former Zimbabwe Minister Defends ZANU-PF Media Laws

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Former Zimbabwe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo, architect of the country's harsh media laws, has said if given another chance as a public official he would have done certain things differently and even better.

But he defended the controversial media laws, saying they were created and remain on the books because they are good for Zimbabwe.

"Clearly, there are things I would have done differently or even better, but as to the laws, we are a democracy. Whatever the detractors say, it's not possible in a democracy for one individual to write any laws. Secondly, those laws…are still on our books some five years after I left government. Surely… they are there because they are good for Zimbabwe," he said.

Moyo said criticism of the media laws he helped enact has nothing to do with their substance but rather based on hatred for him.

"If I were to propose love as the law of Zimbabwe, those detractors would find something wrong. Even if I gave them the Bible and said the entire Bible is now going to be the law, as long as that proposal will be coming from me, those particular detractors will think the Bible is a devil's document," he said.

Moyo, who resigned from Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party five years ago was accepted back into the party last week.

He said while he might have left ZANU-PF in flesh, he never left in spirit.

"One gets associated with a political party at the level of ideology and principle, and my ideological affiliation with ZANU-PF has not changed, but there had been some misunderstandings on issues of strategy, tactics and personality. And I had been considered to have expelled myself. So there has never been really a formal process of the party expelling me," he said.

Moyo is the only independent member in Zimbabwe's 210-seat parliament where the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has a slim one seat majority.

But he denied he was invited back to give ZANU-PF an additional parliamentary seat.

"The fact of the matter is that this is an expression of my freedom of association which has nothing to do with the numbers in parliament. I must say though it's not true that the MDC has a majority in parliament. There are three political parties that make up the government of national unity in Zimbabwe. None of them has a majority," Moyo said.

Moyo called for support for Zimbabwe's unity government.

"Clearly, there has been a dramatic reduction of political tension in our country…The fact that we have a government of national unity, which by and large has shown the capacity and willingness for Zimbabweans to work together means that everyone else who really means well and wishes our country well should support it," Moyo said.

He said while "considerable effort and achievement" have been made, those efforts and achievement continue to be undermined by what Moyo called "illegal sanctions" by Western countries.

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