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Daily News ordered to register

Ndamu Sandu

THE Supreme Court yesterday ruled that Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), which publishes the Daily News and Daily News on Sunday, should register with the Media and In

formation Commission.

Under the draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), promulgated by government last year, all media organisations operating in Zimbabwe are required to register with the commission.

In his judgement, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, in concurrence with Justices Cheda, Ziyambi, Gwaunza and Malaba, said the ANZ could not approach a court “with dirty hands”.

“This is a court of law and as such cannot connive at or condone the applicant’s defiance of the law.”

In a 14-page judgement, the Supreme Court ruled that “citizens are obliged to obey the law and argue afterwards”.

The ANZ, chaired by Johannesburg-based businessman Strive Masiyiwa, was challenging 13 sections of the Act which they said contravened the country’s constitution.

Efforts to get comment from ANZ were fruitless as the chief executive Sam Sipepa Nkomo, his legal affairs director Gugulethu Moyo, and editor-in-chief Francis Mdlongwa were said to be in a meeting.

Meanwhile, a consortium of local investors is leading efforts to revive the defunct Daily Mirror, it emerged this week.

Sources said the group, which is said to include Jewel Bank chief executive Gideon Gono and Telecel chairman James Makamba, have shown an interest in the project.

“The paper will hit the streets early next year,” said a source close to the bid.

The source said the paper’s publisher and editor-in-chief Ibbo Mandaza was willing to cede his stake in the paper after failure to run it solo. The Daily Mirror closed shop in July after 10 months on the streets. Sources at the time said the project was under-capitalised and as such could not be sustained.

Gono and Makamba have of late shown an interest in media businesses. Makamba was one of the founders of the shortlived Joy TV while Gono pulled off a major coup at the Financial Gazette last year.

Makamba this week dissociated himself from the project. “I don’t know anything about that and I have no interest to invest in newspapers,” he said.

Gono could not be reached for comment.

There is also speculation that Mandaza is keen to acquire National Printing and Packaging (Natprint) to consolidate his publishing concern.

Sources said Mandaza had set his eyes on Natprint to bolster his Southern Africa Printing and Publishing House (Sappho) which does not have printing facilities of its own.

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