Daily News staff on Jonathan Moyo’s payroll!


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The former chief executive of the Daily News Sam Sipepa Nkomo told United States embassy officials that he had a list of Daily News staff that were on the payroll of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.

Nkomo told this to embassy officials on 22 February 2004 after he had fired 250 workers of the paper who had barricaded him in his office demanding that he address staff-related issues.

The Daily News had resumed publication on 22 January but stopped on 5 February.

 

Full cable:

 

Viewing cable 04HARARE315, DAILY NEWS FIRES STAFF

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Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE315

2004-02-23 13:52

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.

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000315

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/S FOR SDELISI, LAROIAN, MRAYNOR

AF/PD FOR DFOLEY, CDALTON

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR JFRAZER, DTEITELBAUM

LONDON FOR CGURNEY

PARIS FOR CNEARY

NAIROBI FOR TPFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/22/2009

TAGS: KPAO PGOV PHUM PREL ZI

SUBJECT: DAILY NEWS FIRES STAFF

 

REF: HARARE 302

 

Classified By: Political Officer Win Dayton under Section 1.5(b)(d)

 

1. (C) The Daily News (TDN) editor Sam Nkomo and assistant

editor Bill Saidi told the Ambassador over lunch on February

22 that the paper had fired 250 reporters and staff after

they barricaded Nkomo in his office on February 19 to address

various work-related issues (reftel). According to Nkomo,

the paper retained an unspecified number of section heads and

would allow the return of 40 of the 250 fired employees.

TDN’s South African-based Zimbabwean publisher Strive

Masiyiwa had approved the measures. Nkomo confided that he

had a list of an unspecified number of TDN staff who had been

“on the payroll” of Information Minister Jonathan Moyo —

many of whom were from the paper’s editorial staff.

 

2. (SBU) Nkomo advised that TDN would take its time in

reinforcing its staff prior to publishing again, assuming the

government permitted it to publish. He said the court’s slow

pace in deciding the consolidated appeals of its various

legal cases would give it some time, during which it would

retain a core group to continue its internet publishing and

to prepare a reconsolidated work force.

 

3. (C) COMMENT: A difficult recruiting challenge now

supplants a problematic labor situation at the embattled TDN,

much to the delight of Moyo and many in the GOZ. Masiyiwa, a

multi-millionaire who controls a highly successful

international cellular telephone company among other things,

had continued to pay full salary to the entire TDN staff

during the five months the paper was shuttered by the GOZ.

The staff, likely spurred by co-optees among them, chose to

push for huge salary increases, nonetheless. The

complexities of putting TDN back together have grown, just as

Jonathan Moyo and his minions wish.

SULLIVAN

(51 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
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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