Zim newspaper editor suspended

By Drum Digital
19 March 2015

An editor at Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper has been suspended.

An editor at Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper has been suspended for clearing a headline that said the country's economy was "dying", the paper said Thursday.

Senior assistant editor George Chisoko has been suspended for two weeks on full pay.

A suspension letter quoted in the Herald reads: "You were asked to clear the pages and should have immediately seen that such a headline required far more careful checking than you clearly gave."

The offending headline read: "Feb inflation points to dying economy."

It was on a story about Zimbabwe's latest inflation figures, which declined to -1.40 percent in February from -1.28 percent in January.

The Herald is considered to be the voice of President Robert Mugabe's government and stories in it closely toe the ruling party line.

Editor Caesar Zvayi told Chisoko: "A growing economy cannot be described as 'dying' even if the growth rate is low.

"A journalist in your position, your grade, and with your experience has to exercise better judgement."

The private press regularly reports and comments on the Zimbabwe economy's worrying downturn.

Mugabe's government says any problems are due to drought and Western sanctions.

It refutes opposition claims that a controversial indigenisation programme is driving away foreign investors.

While he is on suspension, Chisoko has been banned from entering Herald House, the paper's offices in central Harare.

Zvayi was himself suspended from duty in 2013 over a story he published that was critical of former central bank chief Gideon Gono.

Online media analyst @ZimMedia Review tweeted: "Herald editor @caesarzvayi on suspending an editor for 'dying economy' headline. Laughable."

Twitter user @Mukoma9 wrote: "George Chisoko is a victim of truth telling.

The Herald is there to cover the truth from the citizenry. I'm glad he is on full pay though."

The International Monetary Fund has projected economic growth for Zimbabwe to weaken further in 2015. It was 3.1 percent in 2014.

Source : Sapa

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