ANZ boss intervenes in Daily News saga

Mthulisi Mathuthu

ASSOCIATED Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) chief executive Sam Nkomo had this week to intervene at the Daily News to stop further staff movements.



Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>On Monday Nkomo prevented the departure of Daily News deputy news editor Pedzisayi Ruhanya who had resigned in protest over a restructuring exercise effected by editor-in-chief Francis Mdlongwa.


This followed concerns by major ANZ shareholders who fear that the changes were likely to affect the company’s image ahead of plans to list on the stock exchange in the fourth quarter of the year.


Nkomo said there was “nothing funny” about the changes. “I will not assist you in your misconceptions,” he said before switching off his phone.


Although he denied any intervention, Mdlongwa confirmed that Ruhanya had tendered his resignation but was now “backtracking”.


“The fellow did indeed tender his resignation but he is now backtracking. All I can say is that he is free to remain or go. I don’t think there is an issue there,” he said.


Sources at the paper said Nkomo persuaded Ruhanya to stay on and asked Mdlongwa to allow him back. On the on-going reshuffle, Mdlongwa said he had the full backing of management and that no one would deter him from effecting decisions agreed upon by the company board.


“These changes have been approved by management and I don’t think somebody else will just change them. We are repositioning our newspaper to become the best in the country and that’s all,” said Mdlongwa.


Mdlongwa has re-deployed Daily News editor John Gambanga to the post of editor-at-large, and flushed out deputy and assistant editors, Tendayi Nyakunu and Leo Hatugari.


Business editor Hama Saburi resigned this week to join the Financial Gazette as deputy editor-in-chief.


Mdlongwa has brought in his former Financial Gazette lieutenants Nqobile Nyathi, Abel Mutsakani, Sydney Masamvu, Luke Tamborinyoka and MacDonald Dzirutwe as editor, managing editor, assistant editor, chief news editor and business editor respectively.


Fired on Monday was senior sports reporter, Tendayi Madhina after reporting that Tineyi Meda scored a hat-trick for Caps United instead of striker Walter Tshuma in their defeat of Chapungu last Sunday.


Sports editor Nkosinathi Baleni, who resigned before the current movements but tried to reverse his decision, was denied readmission.


Meanwhile the Zimpapers Bulawayo branch will next week launch a new leisure magazine called Trends. Former Chronicle assistant editor, Edwin Dube, has been appointed editor of the magazine and former sports deputy editor, Limukani Ncube, his deputy.