Editor of Zim state-owned newspaper fired - reports

2015-09-02 12:52

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Harare – Zimbabwe's state-controlled media group, Zimpapers, has reportedly fired the editor of the weekly Sunday Mail newspaper, Edmund Kudzayi, who was arrested last year on charges of undermining President Robert Mugabe's authority.

Zimbabwean media on Wednesday reported the journalist had received his letter of dismissal last week, barely a month after he was supposedly promoted to head of digital services.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, his departure was confirmed by Zimpapers chief executive Pikirayi Deketeke, who said it was part of a re-organisation exercise under way at the company.

"We have two journalists interested in digital media which Kudzayi had a passion for and these are going to cover the gap he has left," Deketeke was quoted as saying.

Critics of Zanu-PF

A source quoted by News Day said the online editor position would have given Kudzayi “sole charge of all online content and that would have made him a very powerful person, given the fact that the media is gravitating towards digital platforms”.

Kudzai was last year sensationally accused of being Baba Jukwa, an anonymous ruling party deep-throat whose Facebook page garnered hundreds of thousands of likes in the run-up to the 2013 elections.

The wildly-popular Facebook page leaked secrets about Mugabe's Zanu-PF party.

"Baba Jukwa" accused Mugabe of rigging the vote and published cellphone numbers of prominent figures in government, asking people to call them and tell them "we know what is going on".

The charges were, however, withdrawn in May this year, with Kudzai maintaining he had been working with the authorities to try to identify Baba Jukwa when he was arrested.

Kudzai's arrest came after Mugabe criticised the then information minister, Jonathan Moyo, for appointing former critics of his Zanu-PF party to lead state-owned media houses.

The journalist, who was based in the United Kingdom before he relocated to Harare, was also believed to have written several articles in the past that were critical of Mugabe.

Read more on:    zanu-pf  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  media

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