The owner of the Daily News, Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, has taken over the Financial Gazette, one of the biggest financial papers in the country.
The deal is reported to have been sealed several months ago but has been kept under wraps because a consortium of Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front affiliated business people who allegedly included Information Communication Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira wanted to have the deal reversed.
Zimbabwe’s richest man, Strive Masiyiwa, owned 50 percent of ANZ through his company Meditation Investments before the paper was closed down in 2003 but it is not clear whether he maintained any shareholding when it was allowed to publish again in 2010.
But insiders say the consortium was upset that, Gideon Gono, the owner of the Financial Gazette, who has fallen on hard times, had sold the paper to what they considered the opposition.
Gono is a member of ZANU-PF but was foiled by one of the factions from taking over the Manicaland Senate seat left vacant following the death of Kumbirai Kangai who, like Gono, came from Buhera.
The Zimbabwe Independent on Friday reported that rival factions of ZANU-PF were in a state of panic following a three-hour meeting between Gideon Gono and ZANU-PF leader Robert Mugabe.
Strive Masiyiwa also once had a shareholding in ZIMind Publishers which owned the Independent and the Standard.
The two papers, together with the daily Newsday, are now owned by Alpha Media Holdings.
According to sources the consortium was prepared to offer Gono much more money if he reversed his decision but whispers say ANZ was not prepared to budge.
The consortium is reported to have since given up and reports say Mandiwanzira who owns AB Communications that currently owns two radio stations including its flagship ZiFM will be starting his own financial paper soon.
The whispers also say Zimpapers, publishers of the Herald and the Sunday Mail, might convert the current Business Herald that appears every Thursday as part of the main paper might be turned into a stand-alone paper.
The first hint about the takeover was published in a memo to subscribers on 23 February though it appeared to be a promotion linking the Financial Gazette with the Financial Mail and Associated Newspapers.
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