A great day for press freedom. Reporters Without Borders is reporting its delight that Zimbabwe’s leading privately-owned daily and independent newspaper, the Daily News, has received permission to resume publishing after being banned for six years.
“The green light for the Daily News, a day after the BBC and CNN were told they could reopen bureaux, is an historic turning point for press freedom in Zimbabwe and ends six years of intolerance and injustice,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We cannot wait to see this daily on the newsstands again.”
RWB said Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), the company that owns the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, got the green light in the form of a letter yesterday from Edward Dube, the head of a special committee set up by the government in September 2008 to examine the case.
The committee said it was "satisfied that the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe have complied with the provisions of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. ANZ is therefore advised to contact the relevant authority for their licence,” the letter said.
Former Daily News journalist Guthrie Munyuki told Reporters Without Borders: “We greet this news with a great deal of satisfaction and we hope the Zimbabwean government will never close privately-owned independent newspapers again. We also clearly hope that this marks the start of a new era in which free expression is respected in our country.”
The Daily News was the target of several bombings and several of its journalists were arrested before it was finally banned on 12 September 2003 by the Media and Information Commission (MIC). The authorities always stopped the Daily News from starting up again despite several court rulings in its favour. It was awarded the Reporters Without Borders – Fondation de France press freedom prize in December 2003.
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