THE Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ), publishers of the banned Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, yesterday filed an application
for registration with the Media and Information Commission (MIC)’s special committee chaired by blacklisted lawyer Chinondidyachii Mararike.
The application came a day after the MIC wrote to media houses saying the ANZ had failed to seek registration despite an invitation extended to it by the commission.
Mararike confirmed receipt of the application from ANZ lawyers, Gill, Godlonton and Gerrans legal practitioners.
“Today (yesterday) we have received an application letter from the ANZ contrary to some media reports that we were dragging our feet in dealing with its registration,” Mararike said.
“We may be cynical, but let me assure you that we are extremely genuine and this matter will receive the highest level of transparency and fairness it deserves.”
He said the special committee would come up with its determination on the application within 30 days. The ANZ stopped publishing the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday in September 2003 when the government forced it to shutdown after it refused to register with the MIC in line with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
The High Court has since ruled that the ANZ should apply for registration and that the MIC should consider it.
The court barred MIC chairman, Tafataona Mahoso, from being part of the committee to look into the matter saying he was biased.
Meanwhile, Mararike said prospective media players should not hesitate to seek registration from the commission.
“We take this opportunity to encourage any and all prospective media players to register with us,” Mararike said.
“Seriously speaking, we are a progressive commission committed to promoting media diversity, in fact, such diversity is a matter of national importance to us because we are convinced that an informed society is a society that is capable of making informed decisions.”
He said the MIC wanted to open the media space to greater public participation.
“Our serious commitment to media diversity is one reason why, in the near future, we shall be hosting workshops and seminars to which all stakeholders in the media industry will be invited,” Mararike said.
“This will be part of our collaborative efforts to share ideas and stimulate dialogue so we remove any possible suspicion and misconception about the roles we should be playing.”