Zimbabwe Declares Foreign Newspapers “Luxury Goods”

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Last month, the government of Zimbabwe imposed a “luxury tax” on imported newspapers and magazines, tightening the stronghold of state-controlled media. The move, which has been formally opposed by the World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum, slaps a 40 percent import duty on all foreign periodicals, which are now classified as “luxury goods.” From WAN’s letter to President Robert Mugabe:

The tax appears to be particularly aimed at South Africanbased news sources, which have been extremely important to Zimbabweans. All domestic independent newspapers and broadcasters in Zimbabwe are banned. The Zimbabwean, a twice-weekly newspaper printed in South Africa for distribution in Zimbabwe, has been forced to pay almost USD 20,000 per week and is reducing its circulation from 200,000 copies to 60,000 as a result.

(Thanks, Editors Weblog.)

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