Vendors Harassed Over The Standard Newspaper

The Standard Newspaper is being sued by Zanu (PF) leader President Robert Mugabe’s wife Grace and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Gideon Gono for a diamond scandal story that linked the two.

Another party zealot, ZBC Chief executive officer, Happison Muchechetere is also suing the Sunday paper for tarnishing his image.

Last month the paper’s senior reporter Nqobani Ndlovu was jailed for nine days at Khami Maximum prison while his editor Nevanji Madanhire was also thrown in police cells over a story about the police.

A group of drunken Zanu (PF) youths residing at Zambezia block of flats along Fort Street which they grabbed from a white businessman last year, on Wednesday went around the Bulawayo city centre threatening and harassing newspaper street vendors selling The Standard saying it should be banned.

“They came in a group and grabbed one copy of The Standard which was the only one left from the stock before hitting me with it in the face and gave an order that I should not continue selling the paper. They said the paper tarnishes Zanu (PF) leaders’ image and if I defy their directive they will take an unspecified action against me,” said a vendor who preferred to be called Pedzi.

Another vendor who also spoke on condition of anonymity said “the Zanu (PF) youths told them that with former Information Minister, Jonathan Moyo back in Zanu (PF)’s highest decision making body politburo, The Standard won’t be in the streets by election next year.”

Contacted for comment Zanu (PF) Bulawayo Province spokesperson, Mike Sikhosana said “he will investigate the matter”

Moyo who was instrumental in the banning of The Daily News in 2003 was voted back into Zanu (PF)politburo at the just ended annual conference of the party held in Mutare.