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Editor’s Memo


Iden Wetherell

I MUST apologise to devotees of our crossword puzzle for the recent confusion surrounding publication of the puzzles. We previously had a contract with the Telegraph

which owing to forex constraints had to be terminated.

As some of the more eagle-eyed among you may have spotted, we are now resorting to running previous editions from a couple of years ago.

This is obviously not a satisfactory position and, coupled with the failure to provide answers on the right date, has left some regular readers fuming.

Hell hath no fury like a crossword wiz crossed!

We tried looking at some US Internet crossword sites but they proved unsuitable for our more thoughtful players.

We will have to continue with the current series for the time being until other arrangements can be made. Please bear with us and let me know if the system breaks down again in terms of sequence. Assistant sales manager Silent Kamambo is our point man in all this.

I also need to apologise to our Internet readers for problems on the website last Friday. Our website managers, Cyberplex, had difficulties with the mirror site in the US which explains the interruption of service for two hours on Friday afternoon.

If you have problems with access, please notify me or contact Cyberplex, so they can attend to it. Emmanuel Chindove (emmanuel@cyberplexafrica.com) will get back to you with a response if you let him know your individual situation. Please always try to “refresh” first.

News editor Vincent Kahiya works very hard on a Thursday evening to get most of our copy prepared for uploading. He is assisted by sub-editor Oliver Shambira who takes over early on Friday morning.

Our other sub-editor, Teldah Mawarire, is currently in Germany where she is looking at the operations of newsrooms there and hopefully learning a thing or two which can be put to use here. She tells me the Financial Times Deutschland operation is the most impressive so far.

The FT’s expansion underlines the trend towards globalisation of information as London’s leading business newspaper is now read around the world with publishing facilities in the US and mainland Europe.

Those countries in the developing world that have permitted foreign investment in their media such as South Africa are able to afford their reading publics an advantage in terms of access to information and knowledge.

This in turn promotes business expansion which leads to growth and employment as well as a more sophisticated business operating environment.

It is easy to see the difference between countries that accept and encourage the free flow of information and those that resist it. Compare South Africa and Singapore on the one hand with Zimbabwe and Burma on the other.

As my Memo last week on the government’s latest attempts to interfere with ISPs noted, the authorities here regard the Internet as a global conspiracy.

It is busy trying to erect an iron curtain around the country by a regulatory regime that makes investment in IT and media diversity impossible, thus cutting us off from the rest of the world and placing us as a society at a disadvantage.

North Korean-style nationalism and an empty sovereignty serve only those that rule us. I often think of the opportunities for expansion and the jobs that go with it that have been lost in the media and IT sector. That picture is replicated throughout the economy.

As the World Economic Forum pointed out last week, Zimbabwe has one of the most hostile business environments in Africa. While Zanu PF’s dinosaurs battle over the country’s leadership, what they should be doing is releasing their iron grip on the nation’s windpipe and letting its entrepreneurial spirits flow. Do we really have to wait until 2008 for that?

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