Middlebury

South Africa correspondent to speak on "Zimbabwe's Struggle for Democracy" March 2

February 18, 2004

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-"Zimbabwe's Struggle for Democracy" will be the topic of a lecture by Andrew Meldrum, Southern Africa correspondent for the British newspapers The Guardian and The Observer, on Tuesday, March 2, at 4:30 p.m. on the Middlebury College campus.  Free and open to the public, the talk will take place in the conference room of the Robert A. Jones '59 House on Hillcrest Road off College Street (Route 125). 

A 1974 graduate of Middlebury College, Meldrum began reporting from newly independent Zimbabwe in 1980.  Over the past 24 years, he has traveled throughout East and Southern Africa, writing stories in locations ranging from Uganda and Tanzania to South Africa and Mozambique for Associated Press Radio, Business Week, Agence France-Presse, The Economist, The Guardian and The Observer.

As Zimbabwe's current crisis developed, Meldrum concentrated on covering events there, especially human rights abuses, economic decline, and the breakdown of the rule of law.  In 2002, he was arrested by the regime of President Mugabe, jailed for two days and tried for allegedly publishing a falsehood.  He was acquitted.  The government then tried to deport him, but the courts again ruled in his favor, stating that he had the right to reside and work in Zimbabwe.  Finally, in May 2003, government agents abducted him, held him captive for 12 hours, and forcibly put him on a plane that departed Zimbabwe.  A few weeks later Meldrum's wife was also illegally expelled from Zimbabwe.

Now living in Pretoria, South Africa, Meldrum is covering Zimbabwe, South Africa and other African stories for The Guardian and The Observer.  He has written a book about his experiences in Zimbabwe, "Where We Have Hope," which will be published in London in June of this year.

The Middlebury College Rohatyn Center for International Affairs is the sponsor of Meldrum's talk.  For more information, contact Charlotte Tate, assistant director of the Middlebury College Rohatyn Center for International Affairs, at tate@middlebury.edu or 802-443-5795.

-- end --