DIVISIONS have emerged among editors involved in efforts to form a rival editors’ forum in Zimbabwe.
Willie Mponda, ed
itor of the Mid-lands’ paper The Sun, whom Chronicle editor Stephen Ndlovu has been hoping to enlist in his efforts to hijack the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef) and replace it with a state-dominated structure, has distanced himself from the project.
Mponda this week said he would abide by the recommendations of the Southern African Editors Forum (Saef) to respect the already existing Zinef, formed last year by editors from the independent media.
“Whoever is saying that the existing forum should be disbanded and replaced by one dominated by editors from the state media is speaking for himself and I don’t know where the person is getting that from,” said Mponda.
“What I understand from the meeting we held in South Africa with Saef is that we should form an umbrella body involving editors from the independent media and the state-owned media. This doesn’t mean disbanding the already existing forum which should be respected according to its constitutionality.”
Zinef already exists as a trust.
Ndlovu, who couldn’t be reached for comment this week as he was said to be on leave, last week said the scheme which he was spearheading was aimed at disbanding the existing forum and creating one that he described as “truly national”.
“The already existing one comprises editors from only three newspapers, one of which is now defunct,” he said in apparent reference to the Daily News.
“The one we are forming, call-ed the Zimbabwe National Edi-tors Forum will incorporate all editors both from the state-owned and the privately-owned media. Your editors’ forum is now defunct because it doesn’t represent all editors.”
Mponda however this week insisted that donors who are sponsoring the initiative aimed at harmonising relationships between editors from the state-owned media and those from the private media expected the existing forum to remain intact.