Publisher Trevor Ncube of Zimbabwe's Standard and Independent newspapers and the Mail and Guardian of Johannesburg, South Africa, is challenging an attempt by the Zimbabwean government to revoke his citizenship. Government critics say the move by Harare is a thinly veiled effort to punish an independent media voice.
Ncube?s passport was canceled in December 2005 when it was briefly confiscated by immigration authorities at Harare International Airport.
Contacted by the Voice of America, Ncube declined to discuss the case. But in court papers he argues that he is Zimbabwean because he was born in the country, though his father was originally a Zambian citizen. Ncube additionally notes in the court filing that before his birth his father had obtained Zimbabwean citizenship.
In his court filings, Ncube declares that his editors have their own independent views which "do not always coincide" with his own views, opinions or beliefs.
Ncube adds:"If the action was taken against me merely because I am a newspaper publisher...it is clearly unreasonable, ill conceived and based on consideration of an irrelevant fact and failure to consider relevant fact ."
Constitutional expert Lovemore Madhuku, chairman of the National Constitutional Assembly, dismissed the arguments advanced by the state and concluded that the effort to revoke Ncube's citizenship constitutes political harassment.