Daily News

From Pindula
Daily News
IndustryMedia
FoundedMarch 31, 1999 (1999-03-31) in Harare, Zimbabwe
HeadquartersHarare, Zimbabwe
ParentAssociated Newspapers of Zimbabwe
Slogan"Telling it like it is"

The Daily News is a privately owned newspaper and media organisation in Zimbabwe published by the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe in the capital Harare. It was founded in March 1999 with Geoffrey Nyarota as its founding editor. The paper is known for having its printing press been bombed on 28 January 2001, being shut down by the government a year later, and returning to the streets 7 years later on 18 March 2011. The paper is currently in operation and is one of 3 privately owned daily newspapers in Zimbabwe. The current ANZ group editor is Stanley Gama.

Formation

The Daily News hit the streets first on 31 March 1999 as one of the country's only privately owned (referred to some as an opposition paper to the Zanu-PF Government of that time) daily newspaper. The other daily, owned by the government, was The Herald. Another privately owned paper The Daily Gazette had, had been shutdown a few years after being launched, leaving The Herald the only daily. Daily News launched with Wilf Mbanga as its chief executive officer, Geoff Nyarota its editor and Conrad Nyamutata its first chief reporter.[1] With the motto Telling it like it is, the publishers vowed that the paper would be neither pro-government nor anti-government but would be a medium of vibrant discourse among the divergent social, political and religious groups.[2]

The paper quickly became more popular than the Herald, and it's been said, people would scramble for a copy each morning.[1]

Later, Zimbabwean entrepreneur and owner of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, Strive Masiyiwa, became the majority shareholder and it's said he continued paying full salaries beyond the shutting down of the newspaper after its operating license was revoked by the Government of Zimbabwe when Daily News defied the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) in September 2003.[1]

Major Events

Being critical of the ZANU PF government, the paper's journalists were constantly harassed including Nyarota who was arrested more than six times before being forced out of the country into exile by the government.

  • Saturday 22 April 2000: The Daily News' art gallery was bombed by unknown assailants.
Zimbabwe Daily news bombing 28 January 2001
  • Sunday January 28, 2001: The paper's printing plant was bombed a few weeks after the then Minister of Information Jonathan Moyo has promised to deal with the newspaper's alleged 'madness'.[3]
  • March 2001: ZANU PF supporters marched to the Daily News offices against a report that Zimbabweans has celebrated the death of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) President Laurent Kabila.
  • September 2003: The paper was finally banned for operating without a license under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
  • 5 February 2004: The Supreme Court rules that it a crime for journalists to operate without a government permit, effectively forcing the closure of the Daily News. The Daily News had been refused a license in December 2003.
  • March 2011: The paper comes back on the streets with its first article questioning if Mugabe is fit to contest in an election slated for 2013.
  • December 2014: The paper faces fresh onslaught following claims by First Lady Grace Mugabe in 2014 that former Vice President Joice Mujuru owns a 10% stake in the newspaper. Police obtain a court order, signed by Harare Provincial Magistrate Vakayi Douglas Chikwekwe on December 18, 2014, authorising them to search and seize key documents pertaining to the ownership of the newspaper’s parent company Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ).[4]

Circulation

In its first year, the paper reached a readership of 105,000 surpassing that of the Herald which had been in circulation since 1980. The Zimbabwe All Media Products Survey (ZAMPS) of 2011 rated the paper the second behind of the Herald. The latest survey (2013) shows that the paper is still in second position in terms of readership.[5]

Unearthing of Scandals

  • In 2011 the paper exposed the double standards of senior government officials who were defaulting to pay their electricity bills. The scandal which became known as 'Zesagate' involved judges, provincial governors and ministers with Robert Mugabe topping the list with a US $345 000 debt as of December 2011.[6] The scandal was never reported in the state-owned newspapers.
  • On the 14th of February 2013, it unearthed yet another scandal that became known as Nieebgate exposing underhand dealings in the implementaion of the Indegenisation Act involving the the Indigenisation Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere and the National Indegenisation and Economic Empowerment Board (NIEEB).The deals could have seen the country losing millions of dollars.[7]

References