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Former SABC broadcaster cries foul following Zim deportation over accusations of misrepresentation

Former SABC broadcaster, Chris Maroleng, was earlier this week forcibly deported from the country, after arriving in Zimbabwe via the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport with the intention of conducting field research on election conditions and challenges.

Maroleng’s accreditation was contested by Immigration Officials who vehemently asserted that Maroleng had not formally been accredited for the purpose of his visit to the country.

Maroleng explained that he and his colleagues had received approval from the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria before embarking on their journey. He said, despite these assurances, upon arrival in Zimbabwe, they were informed that they would not be accredited to cover the upcoming election and were subsequently notified of their deportation.

Expressing his deep disappointment on social media, Maroleng wrote, “Today, I am compelled to express my anger at the recent events in Zimbabwe that led to my sudden deportation. These events are not just indicative of poor governance; they are a stark reminder of the extremes to which the government is willing to go. This is a rallying cry for the people of Zimbabwe to stand up against tyranny and demand the change they so rightfully deserve.”

Maroleng strongly believed that the ban imposed on him and his colleagues, coupled with their deportation, was unjust. He emphasized that their purpose in Zimbabwe was honorable and that they had meticulously adhered to all necessary protocols for obtaining accreditation.

“This incident is not isolated; it exemplifies the extent to which the government will suppress truth and maintain its hold on power,” Maroleng stressed.

“This occurrence should serve as a wake-up call for all Zimbabweans to unite against oppressive forces attempting to erode their democratic rights and aspirations. Let us transform our anger into action and demand accountability.”

In response to Maroleng’s deportation, information secretary Nick Mangwana clarified that the government was taking action against foreign journalists who provided false information to immigration authorities about their true purpose in the country. “We recognize the interest in visiting our country between August 18th and 25th, 2023. If you are an Election Observer, declare it, and we will accredit you as such. If you are a journalist, declare it, and we will accredit you accordingly. Misleading immigration officials may result in deportation,” Mangwana emphasized.