Journalist Violet Gonda has been denied a passport by the Registrar General because she is on a “block list”, she says in court papers.
She is believed to be one of many Zimbabweans on Mudede’s so-called ‘stop list’.
The former SW Radio Africa journalist who was born and raised in Zimbabwe before moving to England, where the defunct radio station was based, is now suing Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede and the Home Affairs Minister.
She has been in Zimbabwe most of this year covering the lead-up to the July 30 vote and post-election events.
In papers filed at the Harare High Court on August 27, Gonda – who is represented by Harare lawyer Denford Halimani – is seeking a mandatory and declaratory order invalidating Mudede’s refusal to issue her with a passport and a court directed order that she be issued with one.
She had applied for a passport in August but was turned down. She was informed that she was on a “Stop List” which she suspects was targeted at critics of the Zanu PF regime.
Gonda, who along with her colleagues at SW Radio Africa had been labelled agents of Western imperialism, only returned to Zimbabwe following the toppling of President Robert Mugabe in a military coup last November.
“This ‘Stop List’ should not exist in a new dispensation,” Gonda said.
“Imagine I applied like everyone else and my name was red-flagged in their system. I have committed no crime. My rights have been violated and the authorities should issue me with a passport.”
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) group has since dragged Mudede’s department to the High Court challenging the decision.
Her lawyer said Gonda is a Zimbabwean citizen and, like any other Zimbabwean, has the right to a Zimbabwean passport.