Plans afoot to fill Daily News void


Itai Dzamara

IN a bid to fill the void created by the banning of the Daily News, pro-government individuals and institutions have made overtures to revive the publication.
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Media industry sources this week said the government wants to see the revival of the Daily News, but in different hands, for the sake of appearing to promote media diversity and avoiding international censure.


“There is therefore manipulation for politically correct individuals to bid for the takeover of ANZ,” said a source following the moves.


Another alternative, the source said, was to push the Media Africa Group (MAG), publishers of the Business Tribune and Weekend Tribune, to turn one of their titles into a daily paper.


Strive Masiyiwa, owner of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, wrote to his employees last week stating that he would resist offers by a consortium of business people who are interested in ANZ. It is understood that the consortium comprises prominent bankers Gideon Gono and Enock Kamushinda who have close links to the Zanu PF government.


Gono has denied any interest in ANZ whilst Kamushinda wasn’t available for comment.


MAG is believed to be considering starting a daily paper to fill the void left by the Daily News.


“They (management) said that they were contemplating starting a daily paper,” said an insider at MAG. “They said consultations were being carried out after which a definite decision would be reached.”


MAG is linked to business magnate Mutumwa Mawere, a Zanu PF sympathiser. Efforts to obtain comment from MAG chief operating officer, Kindness Paradza, were unsuccessful as he was said on several occasions to be out of his office and didn’t return calls.


Meanwhile, as the race to fill the daily paper’s void intensifies, Ibbo Mandaza’s Daily Mirror is understood to be making a comeback, but with a change in ownership and editorial leadership.


Former Daily News editor Geoff Nyarota yesterday strongly denied reports linking him to moves to revive the Daily Mirror. “Not only have I not accepted any such appointment,” he said in a statement from Harvard in the US, “I have not in any way communicated with either of the two entrepreneurs concerned. I therefore wish to make it known that I categorically deny this malicious fabrication.”


Mandaza confirmed on Wednesday that efforts to revive the Daily Mirror were at an advanced stage.


“Preparations are at an advanced stage,” said Mandaza. “It is not true that Nyarota will be coming in. The paper will still be under Sappho and the previous editorial leadership.”


Mandaza’s Southern African Printing and Publishing House, publishers of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror, had difficulty sustaining the daily issue.