FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
'HE editor of the Rhodesian Catholic newspaper Moto, Fr. Michael Traber, has been ordered to leave the country by Monday. So also has Mr. Anthony Schmitz, assistant editor.
Under Fr. Traber's editorship since 1962, the circulation of Moto has soared from 7,000 to 35,000 copies. It has come to be regarded as the principal voice of Africans in the country.
Swiss-born Fr. Traber was sentenced to six months' imprisonment with hard labour last December for publishing a "subversive statement," although the sentence was later suspended conditionally for three years.
The "subversive statement" was a cartoon published in Moto last June. It depicted a pair of white hands crushing black African bodies.
The caption was a quotation from the Government's White Paper on the new Constitution, reading: "The proposed new Constitution will ensure that Government will be retained in responsible hands . ."
'NO REASON' Before leaving for London Mr. Schmitz said that he had been given no reason at all for his deportation, but he had never concealed his opposition to the present Rhodesian regime. He hoped to return to Rhodesia when the nation's ruling white minority restored the traditional rights of democracy.
"As a Christian, as a man," Mr. Schmitz said, "one cannot ignore what is happening here. Silence in these circumstances is a crime, for silence makes us accomplices in the perversion of justice in Rhodesia.
"I hope one day to return to this country, when such de
mocratic rights as freedom of expression are both cherished and honoured. It is more than tragic, however, that these changes may not come about for some years and after much suffering."
Moto's new managing editor is Fr. James Brandley, a native of Switzerland and holder of a master's degree in sociology from New York's Fordham University. He said that Moro would carry on as usual.
Asked if this meant there would be no change in the paper's editorial policy, Fr. Brandley replied: "Buy the next issue of the paper and see for yourself."
The apartheid-style Constitution, with which Rhodesia declared herself a Republic on Sunday, has been "publicly condemned" by the country's five Catholic bishops. They have declared it to be "irreconcilable with God's law,"
Protestant church leaders have described it as "a potential tool of tyranny."