Church workers deported from Zimbabwe

 Five foreign church aid workers arrested last week in Zimbabwe on suspicion of being undercover journalists have been ordered to leave the country. Speaking from Zvishavane, Kathleen Kastilahn, a member of the Lutheran group said today: "We are checking out of the hotel and we are going to Harare and being deported ... we are being escorted by immigration." The group - two Germans, a Finn, an American and a Kenyan - arrived in the country on Friday planning to visit church aid projects run by the Lutheran World Federation. They were were picked up by police that day, together with a local reporter working for the independent daily in Zvishavane. They are expecting to leave Zimbabwe later today. The police said they were journalists operating without accreditation. Foreign journalists are required to apply for accreditation with the government at least a month before their intended trip to Zimbabwe. They argued that they were not journalists. The local reporter, Fanuel Jongwe, did apply for accreditation last year in order to accompany them. The document never came through. Only Jongwe appeared in court. His lawyer Gugulethu Moyo said the church workers were being allowed to leave without any formal charges being made against them.

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