Newspaper banned by Mugabe is back on sale
The once-banned Daily News, known for its criticism of President Robert Mugabe, returned to the streets of Zimbabwe yesterday, appearing for the first time in nearly eight years with a promise to highlight bad governance.
It comes as Zimbabwe's fragile unity government teeters on the edge of total collapse. The Prime Minister and former opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, spoke of leaving Mr Mugabe's coalition last week after a minister with his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was arrested on what the party said were trumped-up charges.
A number of other party activists have since been detained and there are reports that Mr Mugabe is planning to have his Prime Minister arrested for contempt of court after Mr Tsvangirai accused the ruling party of using judges to harass its critics.
Mr Mugabe, 87, denies that he is poised to call a snap election but harassment of political opponents has increased markedly since the beginning of the year. Abolishing restrictions on the media, including the return of what was once the country's most popular daily were among the key demands made prior to the MDC's agreement to share power with Mr Mugabe.
The closure of the Daily News in 2003 – after seeing its printing press blown up and its journalists routinely harassed – marked a low point in the Mugabe regime's campaign against the independent media. The state-owned Herald newspaper, meanwhile, was reduced to a mouthpiece for the regime and principally read by Zimbabweans for clues as to who was up or down in the ruling party's internal squabbles.
Major news organisations like the BBC were expelled from the country and international journalists were threatened with jail terms if they were caught without official accreditation, which the government frequently refused to grant.
The Daily News is the second privately owned paper to open since the unity government was formed.
"We unapologetically declare that we will take a critical stand against bad governance and expose it for the entire nation to see," the paper said in an editorial yesterday.
That's some guestlist! Stunning images show huge dynastic wedding between Ultra-Orthodox Jewish families which attracted 25,000 guests
'He was always smiling': Lee Rigby named as Woolwich victim
Heathrow airport reopens runways after British Airways plane 'on fire over London' makes emergency landing
Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
Exclusive: Woolwich killings suspect Michael Adebolajo was inspired by cleric banned from UK after urging followers to behead enemies of Islam
- 1 Pope Francis: Being an atheist is alright as long as you do good
- 2 What, let gays get married? We must be bonkers
- 3 'Something passed underneath us, quite close': Airbus A320 has close encounter with UFO
- 4 Lord of the Sings: Sir Christopher Lee, 91, to release heavy metal album
- 5 Two bailed after arrest over Woolwich attack Twitter comments
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Nook is donating eReaders to volunteers at high-need schools and participating in exclusive events throughout the campaign.
Get the latest on The Evening Standard's campaign to get London's children reading.
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.