The Zimbabwean newspaper which was started 10 years ago by Wilf Mbanga, one of the founders of The Daily News before it was closed down in 2003, is to close down next week but its online news will continue.
The paper, a daily at one time, says its sales never recovered following the hijacking and burning of a truck carrying copies of its newspaper in May 2008 and the subsequent imposition of a 74 percent tax on newspapers brought from outside into Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean was published in London and copies meant for Zimbabwe were printed in South Africa.
The publication was, however, heavily reliant on donors whose funding, it says was leveraged “to distribute the newspaper mainly to rural communities, where 80% are women and young people who have hardly any access to independent media or vital information sources”.
The demise of The Zimbabwean is an indication of international donor fatigue on Zimbabwe.
Another media outlet, SW Radio Africa, which was also heavily dependent on donors and received funding from some of the same donors that sponsored The Zimbabwean, closed down last year after being on the air for 13 years. It was also based in London.