Moto Magazine
Moto Magazine Cover.jpg
PublisherMambo Press
FounderCatholic Church in Zimbabwe
Year founded1959

MOTO was a political and religious magazine in Rhodesia and Zimbabwe. It was founded in 1959 in Zimbabwe's Midlands town of Gweru as a weekly community newspaper by the Roman Catholic Church. The magazine is now defunct owing to the viability problems faced by its publisher, Mambo Press since around 2000.


Moto was one of the most outspoken voices in the liberation war, providing criticism of the colonial government and support for African nationalist parties.

One of its editors was deported by the colonial government in 1970. In the 1970's, the magazine went back on the streets but its editorial did not change. Moto was banned by the British regime in 1974. On the eve of independence in January 1980, Moto's printer, Mambo Press, was destroyed in a bomb attack. Moto came back to streets immediately after Zimbabwe's independence in 1980.

It re-emerged in 1980 at the country's independence first as a newspaper and then as one of the first magazines to provide content in ChiShona, SiNdebele and English.

In 1982 it was changed into a magazine.

In post-independence Zimbabwe made a transition from the campaigning stance to a voice in the era of majority rule. Under a mandate of being "the voice of the voiceless and defender of the downtrodden", it switched its focus to issues generally marginalised by the state-controlled press, running socio-economic and human-interest stories, often set in rural communities.

The magazine also featured catholic religious stories, some of them on the elevation of Africans to the hierarchy and the ranks of the canonized.

Moto became critical of many policies of the Zanu PF government resulting in several attempts to shut it down.

Prominent People at Moto Magazine

  • Donatus Bonde (Munetsi Cartoonist)
  • Paul Chidyausiku Editor 60s, 70s
  • Onesimo Makani Kabweza Editor 80s, 90s
  • Tangai Wisdom Chipangura Editor 90s, 00s


As Zimbabwe faced economic problems since around 1999, Moto also went into decline in the 2000s, eventually being discontinued.

In March 2019 the Catholic Church in Gweru announced the return of the publication in digital format on the address Masendu, [1]


  1. MOTO MAGAZINE IS BACK!, Motto, Published: 7 Mar 2019, Retrieved: 25 Sep 2019