Commercial Arbitration Centre to set Mediagate hearing date

Dumisani Muleya

THE Commercial Arbitration Centre is expected to soon fix a date for the hearing into the suspension of Zimbabwe Mirror Group CEO and editor-in-chief Ibbo Mandaza.



ONT face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>This follows the recent proposal to have former chief justice Anthony Gubbay as the chairman of the inquiry. Gubbay is likely to be assisted by former Institute of Chartered Accountants president David Vincent and chairman of the Institute of Directors of Zimbabwe Much Masunda.


The hearing results from High Court judge Bharat Patel’s recent recommendation that a panel, chaired by a retired judge, be set up to look into and determine the “propriety” of Mandaza’s suspension.


Mandaza’s lawyer Joseph Mandizha said yesterday the date, venue and other issues such as service fees had not yet been announced although the process to sort them out was in motion.


“The date of the hearing has not yet been set but I have spoken to the administrator of the Commercial Arbitration Centre about the issue on Monday,” Mandizha said. “She was supposed to get back to me on the matter yesterday, but she could not manage. I will check with her today (yesterday).”


Mandizha confirmed Gubbay, Vincent and Masunda had been suggested to form the panel to hear the matter although the team had not yet been agreed upon by the two parties to the dispute.


Mandaza was recently suspended from the Mirror by disputed group chair Jonathan Kadzura and his deputy John Marangwanda in the wake of disclosures about the takeover of the Mirror titles, the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror, by the state security apparatus using public funds.


Kadzura and Marangwanda said Mandaza’s suspension had followed an Ernst & Young forensic audit report, but did not specify the nature of the report’s findings.


The intelligence service was also said to have muscled into the Financial Gazette through a front ownership structure in a bid to win hearts and minds. The state security department also has other extensive media interests.


Mandaza, who had 30% of the Mirror, has since been removed from the company as a shareholder in terms of his revised exit strategy which left the papers practically exclusively in the hands of the intelligence service.


Meanwhile, the Mirror newspapers continue to make changes designed to ensure the papers survive the biggest media scandal in 25 years.


Sources said plans were afoot to appoint deputy editor-in-chief Alexander Kanengoni, who recently bounced back from suspension by Mandaza, editor-in-chief. Tichaona Chifamba has been appointed acting CEO and editor-in-chief.


The sources said Tawanda Majoni could become the substantive editor of the Daily Mirror, while Ruzvidzo Mupfudza would become editor of the re-branded Sunday Mirror, now reduced from a broadsheet to a tabloid. The Mirror papers did not have substantive editors since Innocent Sithole, who was the editor of both titles, went for further studies in the United Kingdom last year. Sources said Sithole had been told not to come back to the papers.

Top