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Zimbabwe seizes copies of 'subversive book'


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By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWEAN authorities have seized hundreds of copies of Section Eight, a novel by Zimbabwean journalist, Chris Gande, which had been destined for the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, New Zimbabwe.com has learnt.

Gande, who is now based in Washington DC and works for Studio Seven said the copies, fliers and posters of the book based on the land reforms were sent to Zimbabwe by air on July 7 and were expected to be in Zimbabwe on July 10.

The United States Postal Service on Monday confirmed that the books had been flown to Zimbabwe, but their whereabouts could not be ascertained.

A postal worker at the Washington DC post office where the books were sent from said their records last indicated that the books were with the Zimbabwe department of customs.

"This is unusual for customs to detain goods this long, especially if they are just books," she told NewZimbabwe.com.

Gande, a former Daily News Bulawayo bureau chief, said he was told by a customs official that copies of his book might have been sent for "verification" to the President's office because it "looks like it is subversive material". He said he had been hopeful that the book would make it for the ZIBF which ends on Saturday.

Gande said: "The book is now available in several countries except Zimbabwe, I was trying to promote it through the book fair and it seems likely that it will not make it at all. The few book sellers who had indicated their wish to sell the book withdrew their wish after reading it. They say they fear that it may antagonize the authorities."

He added that his lawyers in Zimbabwe were preparing to institute legal action to retrieve the books from the authorities.

Section Eight is a novel based on the son of government Minister who falls madly in love with the daughter of a white commercial farmer. It turns out that the government Minister wants to take over the farm belonging to the father of his son's girlfriend.

The novel can be purchased on line and its details are available on the following link: www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=28040
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