“We have applied for a licence,” Pius Wakatama, Zimbabwe based secretary of The Zimbabwean, told Radio VOP Monday.
“We are optimistic. I do not see why we should be denied a licence. We have a right to be here just like everybody else and there is no reason to doubt anything. We have nothing to fear and we are going to continue telling it like it is.”
Should the paper be registered, this would see it shaking off its status as an “exiled” publication.
The newspaper was formed in 2004 by Wilf Mbanga and has earned admiration for its courage to report without fear.
The paper, which is printed outside Zimbabwe and trucked in the country, has had its own scary moments. In May 2008, a 14-tonne truck containing 60,000 copies of the tabloid was stopped near Masvingo by suspected state agents on its way to Harare where it was set alight.
The driver and his colleague were badly beaten by their kidnappers and abandoned in the bush.
The paper also survived a punitive duty subsequently imposed by the state apparently to kill it.
The ZMC has threatened to ban all un-registered foreign newspapers.