Post-Mugabe-Era Film ‘President’ Banned By Zimbabwe Censorship Board

Post-Mugabe-Era Film ‘President’ Banned By Zimbabwe Censorship Board..  Zimbabwe’s censorship board has banned the documentary film President saying it “has the potential to incite violence” as the country heads for the 2023 presidential elections.

Post-Mugabe-Era Film President Banned By Zimbabwe Censorship Board


The award-winning documentary by Danish filmmaker Camilla Nielsson follows opposition leader Nelson Chamisa on the campaign trail as he challenges the ruling Zanu-PF in the 2018 presidential elections.

The elections followed the ouster of former president Robert Mugabe by Emmerson Mnangagwa in late 2017 and were characterised by allegations of violence, brutality by the army and vote-rigging.

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In a letter, Censorship and Entertainment Control Unit deputy director Oscar Mugomeri said the documentary is “likely to be contrary to public order” and incite violence in the country.

“Your documentary film President was not approved in terms of section 10(2)(b) of the Censorship and Entertainments Control Act, chapter 10:04 which states that, the board shall not approve any film or film advertisement which is its opinion ‘is likely to be contrary to public order’.

“Also take note that the ‘Notice for Rejection’ was made to the whole documentary film. The film has the potential to incite violence as the country is now preparing to go for elections in 2023,” said Mugomeri.

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The Danish filmmakers have filed a legal challenge to the decision in Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court.

President premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year and won the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award.

It is a sequel to Nielsson’s documentary Democrats which won best documentary at the Tribeca Film Festival 2015. Democrats was initially censored in Zimbabwe, but in 2018 Nielsson won a three-year legal battle to lift the ban.

President was released across the US on the Public Broadcasting Service award-winning POV documentary series on August 8.

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