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Editor of Zim’s only private daily suspended

The editor of Zimbabwe’s only private daily has been suspended, according to a report posted on the website of the state-run broadcaster late on Monday.

Ibbo Mandaza, the founder, chief executive and editor-in-chief of the Daily Mirror and the Sunday Mirror
M>, has been suspended with immediate effect, the report said.

“Doctor Mandaza is not and cannot be authorised to carry out any business in the name of, or on behalf of, the Zimbabwe Mirror group of newspapers,” said the paper’s board chairperson, Jonathan Kadzura, in a statement quoted by Newsnet.

Kadzura said the decision to suspend Mandaza came after a “forensic report” by accounting firm Ernst & Young was presented to the board.

The Daily Mirror is the last remaining private daily newspaper in Zimbabwe. The better-known Daily News was shut down by armed police in 2003 because it was unlicensed.

Mandaza’s suspension comes amid independent news reports that his two sister publications had been infiltrated by members of Mugabe’s secret police, the feared Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Mandaza, a political scientist, is a supporter of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF.

Last week, the Zimbabwe Independent reported that auditors were probing Mandaza’s alleged misappropriation of funds.

He denied the charge.

The Zimbabwe Independent also published a front-page report saying Mandaza’s resignation was imminent due to pressure from the Daily Mirror‘s board of executives, allegedly dominated by former members of the CIO.

The Zimbabwe Independent said Mandaza had been forced out during “a hostile takeover”.

“The CIO would now keep an effective 70% majority control, while a new consortium of local tycoons will grab Mandaza’s 30% stake,” the paper said. — Sapa/DPA

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