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Zimbabwe Court Nullifies Effort to Cancel Publisher's Citizenship

Zimbabwe's High Court has nullified efforts by the government to cancel the citizenship of a publisher whose newspapers have been critical of President Robert Mugabe.

Passport officials had argued that Trevor Ncube, though born in Zimbabwe, was not a citizen because his father was Zambian.

But the high court ruled Thursday that Ncube was a citizen by birth and efforts to cancel his citizenship were unlawful. The court ordered that Ncube's passport be returned within seven days.

In a statement, Ncube says his faith in the Zimbabwe judiciary has been vindicated. He also said that attempts to use citizenship as a tool in political and personal battles must be condemned in the strongest terms.

Ncube publishes the Standard and Zimbabwe Independent weekly newspapers, as well as the South African weekly Mail and Guardian.

Robert Mugabe's government passed strict media laws in 2002. Since that time, many independent journalists have been arrested, harassed or assaulted.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.