The commission’s chairperson Godfrey Majonga announced the decision on Wednesday night at St Lucia Park in Harare.
The papers that were registered are the Daily Gazette owned by Reserve Bank Governor Gedion Gono, News Day owned by Trevor Ncube who already runs the Zimbabwe Independent, Standard and South Africa’s Mail and Guardian, Daily News owned by Associated Newspapers Zimbabwe, The Mail and The Worker, which is owned by a group of youths who are funded by the Zimbabwe Youth Empowerment Fund but operating under the name Front Line venture.
“We are working for Zimbabweans and we are doing this for Zimbabweans,” said Majonga addressing journalists at a press briefing
to announce the new newspapers.
He was flanked by a host of ZMC commissioners who include Miriam Madziwa, Chris Mutsvangwa, Chris Mhike, Matthew Takaona, Millicent
Mombeshora and Henry Muradzikwa.
Majonga said prospective journalists employed by the registered newspapers were free to walk into the ZMC offices at Rainbow Towers on
Thursday morning and get their accreditation.
Tabani Moyo, an official with the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Zimbabwe) welcomed the registration of the new newspapers.
“We cautiously welcome the registration of the newspapers but would like to urge the institution of a surgical process to do away with
laws that inhibit the work of journalists and these new newspapers,” said Moyo.
Journalists questioned the continued role being played by Tafataona Mahoso, widely known in media circles as a media hangman because of
the role that he played in the closure of newspapers such as Daily News and Tribune.
Mahoso who was also present at the event is working as a Chief Executive Officer of the ZMC.
Asked why he is doubling as ZMC CEO and chairperson of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ), Majonga said.
“The commission’s view is that we are working in different circumstances, we have an inclusive government and as far as we are
concerned he is our CEO,” said Majonga.
The new newspapers now face the hurdle of attracting the finest journalists, most of whom are working as freelance journalists for foreign media. Apart from this they will also face the battle to win the hearts of advertisers in a country whose industry is almost non-existent.