Zimpapers yesterday transferred the editor of its Bulawayo daily, the
Chronicle, Mduduzi Mathuthu, to Namibia, in what sources claim to be
punishment for the way the paper covered some stories, particularly a
story where Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa was implicated in making
inflammatory statements during the Gukurahundi.
Yesterday, Zimpapers chief executive officer, Pikirai Deketeke flew to Bulawayo to deliver news to Mathuthu that he will be taking over the editorship of the Namibian based Southern Times, a joint venture between Zimpapers and a Namibian company.
Sources revealed that senior officials in the Information ministry had their sights trained on Mathuthu for a while and were looking for a reason to pull the trigger.
The straw that broke the camel’s back, sources revealed, was a story on suspended Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana, whose fate was said to be in President Robert Mugabe’s hands, that was on the front-page of the daily.
“They questioned his editorial judgment and asked why it was on page one, yet in The Herald it was buried inside,” a source revealed.
Mathuthu also did not earn any friends following a story that ministers were involved in a verbal brawl over the science, technology, mathematics and engineering thrust being driven by the Higher Education ministry.
In his defence, Mathuthu said the story had been written by The Herald and his paper had taken it from there, the source revealed.
However, it was the Gukurahundi story that had Mathuthu in the crosshairs of his superiors and Information ministry officials.
Mathuthu’s deputy, Innocent Madonko takes over the editorship of the paper on an acting basis.
Efforts to get a comment from Deketeke and Mathuthu were fruitless last night. newsday