Masiyiwa and Chanakira take over Daily News


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Zimbabwe’s two most successful entrepreneurs, Strive Masiyiwa of Econet Wireless and Nigel Chanakira of Kingdom Financial Holdings, had created a holding company, the Independent Media Group, that had bought controlling shares in Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, the parent company of the Daily News.

IMG also bought large, though not controlling amounts, of stock in the Zimbabwe Independent and the Standard.

“These are important investments as they provide a much-needed financial cushion to all three papers and bring them into the orbit of Zimbabwe’s most talented and successful businessmen,” a cable released by Wikileaks said.

The three papers were expected to face competition from a new daily that was to be launched by Ibbo Mandaza who was described in the cable as a government sympathiser.

The cable even said that Mandaza was “practiced in the art of deception”.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 01HARARE897, GREATER SOPHISTICATION AND THOROUGHNESS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

01HARARE897

2001-03-02 11:32

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

021132Z Mar 01

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO6903

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00897 01 OF 02 070830Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00

SMEC-00 USNW-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00

DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/011W

——————CEA125 071115Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8335

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 HARARE 000897

 

SIPDIS

 

C O R R E C T E D COPY-CLASSIFIED BY LINE ADDED

 

DEPT FOR AF/S, AF/PD (COX, HOWARD, SANDERS)

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00897 01 OF 02 070830Z

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV KPAO PINS PINR KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: GREATER SOPHISTICATION AND THOROUGHNESS

CHARACTERIZE GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST INDEPENDENT

MEDIA

 

 

CLASSIFIED BY PAO D. BRUCE WHARTON FOR REASONS 1.5B AND D.

 

——-

SUMMARY

——-

 

1. (C) IN ITS INTENSIFYING EFFORT TO CONTROL INFORMATION

AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC, THE GOVERNMENT CONTINUED TO

HARDEN ITS APPROACH TOWARD THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA. THE

GOVERNMENT OF ZIMBABWE (GOZ) IS PURSUING A TWO-PRONGED

APPROACH: CAREFUL CONTROL OF THE CONTENT AND “SPIN” OF

NEWS REPORTED BY THE STATE-OWNED MEDIA; AND CONSTANT

CHALLENGES TO THE INDEPENDENT AND FOREIGN MEDIA’S

ABILITY TO WORK. BEHIND-THE-SCENES EFFORTS BY THE

STATE-OWNED AND THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA CONTINUE AS BOTH

SIDES JOCKEY TO STRENGTHEN THEIR POSITIONS. THE GOZ

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00897 01 OF 02 070830Z

CONTINUES TO PURSUE ITS AUTHORITARIAN INCLINATIONS WHILE

THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA CONTINUE TO SHOW COURAGE AND

TENACITY. END SUMMARY.

 

——————————————— —

GOVERNMENT SYMPATHIZER ANNOUNCES NEW DAILY PAPER

——————————————— —

 

2. (C) THE WEEKLY “MIRROR” ANNOUNCED IN ITS FEBRUARY 23

EDITION THAT IT WOULD LAUNCH “THE DAILY MIRROR” ON MAY

1. “THE MIRROR” IS PUBLISHED BY PROFESSOR IBBO MANDAZA,

A ZIMBABWEAN POLITICAL SCIENTIST AND DIRECTOR OF THE

SOUTHERN AFRICAN POLITICAL ECONOMY SERIES (SAPES) TRUST,

A HARARE-BASED POLITICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTION. THE

PUBLISHER IS PRACTICED IN THE ART OF DECEPTION.

ALTHOUGH MANDAZA DENIES THAT “THE MIRROR” SUPPORTS THE

GOVERNMENT AND ZANU-PF, EDITORIALS, THE WEEKLY ANONYMOUS

“SCRUTATOR” COLUMN (WRITTEN BY MANDAZA) AND EDITORIAL

DECISIONS LEAVE LITTLE DOUBT OF THE NEWSPAPER’S

POLITICAL ORIENTATION. “THE MIRROR’S” TARGET AUDIENCE

IS EDUCATED, URBAN ZIMBABWEANS. “THE MIRROR” CLAIMS

CIRCULATION OF ABOUT 20,000 PER WEEK (PROBABLY

OPTIMISTIC), AND CONTAINS VERY LITTLE ADVERTISING.

SINCE ITS LAUNCH IN EARLY 1999, ITS ABILITY TO SURVIVE

FINANCIALLY HAS BEEN SOMETHING OF A MYSTERY. THE PAPER

INITIALLY RECEIVED SOME SUPPORT FROM THE SOUTHERN AFRICA

MEDIA DEVELOPMENT FUND (SAMDEF), BUT WAS TURNED DOWN IN

2000 FOR FUNDING FOR A DAILY PAPER. SPECULATION IN

HARARE IS THAT “THE MIRROR’S” OPERATING COSTS ARE

SUBSIDIZED BY SAPES REVENUES AND THROUGH FINANCIAL

SUPPORT FROM ZANU-PF. IF “THE DAILY MIRROR” DOES APPEAR

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00897 01 OF 02 070830Z

AS ADVERTISED ON MAY 1, IT WILL OFFER A MORE

SOPHISTICATED COUNTERPART TO THE GOVERNMENT-CONTROLLED

DAILY “THE HERALD.” IT WILL ALSO BE SOMETHING OF A

FINANCIAL WONDER, THE ZIMBABWEAN MEDIA EQUIVALENT OF THE

MIRACLE OF THE LOAVES AND FISH.

 

——————————————— —

TIGHTENING ACCREDITATION OF FOREIGN JOURNALISTS

——————————————— —

 

3. (C) THE JOHANNESBURG-BASED REGIONAL CORRESPONDENT FOR

THE “WASHINGTON POST,” JON JETER, TOLD US THAT HE

ENCOUNTERED A NEWLY CUMBERSOME PROCESS FOR GAINING A

PRESS CREDENTIAL IN ZIMBABWE. SINCE JUNE 2000 THE

PROCESS HAS BEEN SIMPLE AND FAST, IF SOMEWHAT EXPENSIVE.

IN THE PAST, FOREIGN JOURNALISTS SIMPLY HAD TO GO TO THE

INFORMATION MINISTRY, PRODUCE A PHOTO ID AND LETTER FROM

THEIR EMPLOYER, PAY (U.S.) $100 (IN US CURRENCY,

PLEASE), AND WERE ISSUED A WORK PERMIT ON THE SPOT.

THAT PERMIT WAS GOOD FOR UP TO 3 MONTHS. UPON ARRIVAL

IN HARARE ON FEBRUARY 27, JETER FOUND A MORE COMPLICATED

PROCEDURE. HE WAS ASKED TO PROVIDE DETAILS ABOUT THE

STORIES HE INTENDED TO FILE, THE PEOPLE HE WANTED TO

MEET, AND THE AREAS HE WISHED TO VISIT. HIS PRO-FORMA

LETTER FROM THE “WASHINGTON POST” WAS ALSO QUESTIONED

AND HE WAS TOLD THAT FOR FUTURE VISITS HE NEEDED TO

PROVIDE A MORE SPECIFIC LETTER, ON OFFICIAL COMPANY

LETTERHEAD. JETER WAS GIVEN A CREDENTIAL, BUT IT TOOK

24 HOURS INSTEAD OF THE HERETOFORE-USUAL 30 MINUTES.

JETER WAS ALSO TOLD BY AN OFFICIAL OF THE MINISTRY OF

INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY THAT THE PROCESS WAS LIKELY TO

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 05       HARARE 00897 01 OF 02 070830Z

BECOME MORE DIFFICULT WHEN NEW REGULATIONS GOVERNING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTO6904

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 00897 02 OF 02 070831Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   COR-01   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-00 ACQ-00   CIAE-00

SMEC-00 USNW-00 DINT-00 DODE-00 DOEE-00 DOTE-00 SRPP-00

DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00   FAAE-00 FBIE-00 VC-00   H-01

TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   LAB-01   L-00     VCE-00   AC-01

NSAE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00

ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   TRSE-00 USIE-00 R-00

PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00 SAS-00

/011W

——————CEA13E 071115Z /38

R 021132Z MAR 01

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC 8336

INFO NSC WASHDC

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

AMEMBASSY NAIROBI

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 02 HARARE 000897

 

SIPDIS

 

C O R R E C T E D COPY – CLASSIFIED BY LINE ADDED

 

DEPT FOR AF/S, AF/PD (COX, HOWARD, SANDERS)

 

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JENDAYI FRAZER

 

LONDON FOR GURNEY

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 00897 02 OF 02 070831Z

 

PARIS FOR WILLIAMS

 

PASS USAID FOR AFR/SA C. PALMA

 

NAIROBI FOR PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/13/11

TAGS: PHUM PGOV KPAO PINS PINR KDEM ZI

SUBJECT: GREATER SOPHISTICATION AND THOROUGHNESS

CHARACTERIZE GOVERNMENT CAMPAIGN AGAINST INDEPENDENT

MEDIA

 

CLASSIFIED BY PAO D. BRUCE WHARTON FOR REASONS 1.5B AND D.

 

FOREIGN MEDIA WORK IN ZIMBABWE ARE PUBLISHED. JETER WAS

TOLD THAT TELEVISION CREWS WOULD FIND THE PROCESS

ESPECIALLY TOUGH. JETER’S EXPERIENCE AND THE WARNING OF

TOUGHER NEW ACCREDITATION PROCESSES ARE CONSISTENT WITH

INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY MINISTER MOYO’S STATEMENTS

AFTER THE FEBRUARY EXPULSION OF THE BBC AND “WEEKLY MAIL

AND GUARDIAN” CORRESPONDENTS.

 

——————————————— —–

“DAILY NEWS” CLOSE TO ACQUIRING NEW PRINTING PRESS

——————————————— —–

 

4. (C) THE “DAILY NEWS,” WHICH HAS HEROICALLY PUBLISHED

AN EDITION EVERY DAY SINCE THE JANUARY BOMBING AND

DESTRUCTION OF ITS PRESSES, IS ON THE VERGE OF SIGNING A

CONTRACT FOR THE PURCHASE OF A NEW (U.S.)$4 MILLION

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 00897 02 OF 02 070831Z

PRINTING PRESS. PRIVATE DONATIONS AND CORPORATE

FINANCIAL RESOURCES HAVE RAISED ABOUT ONE-HALF OF THE

PURCHASE PRICE. THE BALANCE IS BEING PROVIDED VIA A

LOAN FROM THE SOROS FOUNDATION’S MEDIA DEVELOPMENT ARM,

THE OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATION. DELIVERY AND SET-UP OF THE

PRESS WILL TAKE ABOUT 6 MONTHS FROM THE TIME THE

CONTRACT IS SIGNED. IMPORTATION OF THE PRESS MAY BE A

CHALLENGE IF THERE IS ANY SUBSTANCE BEHIND MINISTER

JONATHAN MOYO’S THREATS TO BAN FOREIGN DONATIONS TO THE

ZIMBABWEAN MEDIA.

 

——————————————— —-

ZIMBABWEAN BUSINESSMEN SHORE UP INDEPENDENT MEDIA

——————————————— —-

 

5. (C) ZIMBABWE’S TWO MOST SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS,

STRIVE MASIYIWA (ECONET WIRELESS) AND NIGEL CHANAKIRA

(KINGDOM FINANCIAL HOLDINGS) HAVE MADE MAJOR INVESTMENTS

IN THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA. THE TWO HAVE CREATED A

HOLDING COMPANY, THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA GROUP (IMG) THAT

HAS BOUGHT CONTROLLING SHARES IN ASSOCIATED NEWSPAPERS

OF ZIMBABWE (ANZ), THE PARENT COMPANY OF THE “DAILY

NEWS.” IMG HAS ALSO BOUGHT LARGE, THOUGH NOT

CONTROLLING AMOUNTS, OF STOCK IN THE “ZIMBABWE

INDEPENDENT” AND THE “STANDARD.” THESE ARE IMPORTANT

INVESTMENTS AS THEY PROVIDE A MUCH-NEEDED FINANCIAL

CUSHION TO ALL THREE PAPERS AND BRING THEM INTO THE

ORBIT OF ZIMBABWE’S MOST TALENTED AND SUCCESSFUL

BUSINESSMEN. (NB: BOTH MASIYIWA AND CHANAKIRA WERE

THREATENED BY GOZ-ENGINEERED LAWSUITS IN 2000 WHEN IT

BECAME APPARENT THAT NEITHER OF THE MEN SUPPORTED ZANU-

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 00897 02 OF 02 070831Z

PF. SINCE MID-2000 MASIYIWA HAS LIVED IN SOUTH AFRICA,

REPORTEDLY TO AVOID HARASSMENT BY GOVERNMENT OR ZANU-PF

OFFICIALS AND SUPPORTERS. END NB.) IMG’S CREATION

BODES WELL FOR THE SURVIVAL OF THE INDEPENDENT MEDIA IN

ZIMBABWE.

 

IRVING

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

(105 VIEWS)

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The Insider

The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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