On Wednesday the Zimbabwe government announced restrictive new licensing fees of up to US$30 000 on journalists working for foreign media in Zimbabwe.

The new guidelines would further require Zimbabweans working for foreign media outlets to pay a staggering US$4 000 to practice journalism in Zimbabwe for one year.

According to the government controlled Media and Information Commission (MIC), foreign media wanting to work in Zimbabwe would have to pay $30,000. This amount is broken up into the initial application fee ($10,000) and the accreditation fee ($20,000).

All payments should be paid in foreign currency.

For any individual journalism project undertaken in Zimbabwe; journalists have the option of paying a fee of US$1 500.

Journalists who work for state-controlled media only have to pay a fee of Zim$1m, worth less than US$1 at current exchange rates.

Human rights lawyers and African media groups like the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) have already questioned the legality of the edict.