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ZimInd Publishers appoints new editors

Comment & Analysis
ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH), the publishers of the Zimbabwe Independent, the Standard and NewsDay, have appointed new editors for the newspapers in a restructuring exercise to position the company for a liberalised media environment.

ALPHA Media Holdings (AMH), the publishers of the Zimbabwe Independent, the Standard and NewsDay, have appointed new editors for the newspapers in a restructuring exercise to position the company for a liberalised media environment.

AMH is the holding company for ZimInd Publishers (Pvt), publishers of the two newspapers and soon to be launched NewsDay. The holding company also owns a distribution and marketing company, Munn Marketing, and a newspaper and commercial printing firm, Strand Multiprint.

AMH chairman Trevor Ncube yesterday announced the appointment of the current editor of the Independent, Vincent Kahiya, as editor of NewsDay and group editor-in-chief. NewsDay is expected to be licensed soon by the recently constituted Zimbabwe Media Commission.

Ncube also announced the branding of the group which will be unveiled to the market later in the year.

Current Independent news editor Constantine Chimakure takes over from Kahiya as editor of the Independent. Chimakure is charged with growing the Independent’s investigative role and building a strong business section.

Veteran journalist Davison Maruziva, the current editor of the Standard, has been appointed head of the company’s magazine division.

“At our annual strategy conference last month we identified the magazine division as a new strategic business unit and Maruziva is the best qualified person in the group to lead this division,” Ncube said. Maruziva’s brief will be to manage current group magazines which now exceed eight and develop new ones. The publications include Cover to Cover, Quoted Companies, and the Banks and Banking Survey. Ncube said the market should expect a new offering of magazines in the near future.

The current deputy editor of the Independent, Nevanji Madanhire, has been appointed editor of the Standard, while group projects editor Iden Wetherell is now senior associate editor in the group.

“We are restructuring the company to make maximum use of the talent that we have internally to position the group for a liberalised media environment,” Ncube said. “The redeployment has been necessitated by the need to ensure that NewsDay is appropriately staffed with a mixture of established and new talent.”

Current Independent assistant editor Dumisani Muleya will be in charge of the group investigative team.  The appointments are with effect from March 1.

“As part of this expansion and restructuring project, we will be setting up a cutting-edge investigative team specialising in exclusive stories, as well as analytic and in-depth reporting,” Muleya said. “In the service of the public interest, we will uncover the good, the bad and the ugly. We will expose maladministration, corruption and lies. We will go all-out to tell the truth without fear or favour.”

Kahiya, who has been the editor of the Independent for the past six years, said the restructuring affords him the opportunity to use his experience in the group, spanning over 13 years, to establish a new product and help grow the existing publications.

“My new role affords me an opportunity to establish NewsDay as a market leader in an industry where we are anticipating stiff competition,” he said. At the same time I have a mandate to exercise oversight at the Independent and the Standard. I believe the new leadership will give the group’s brands fresh impetus.”

Chimakure, who has over 15 years experience in the media, said he was geared to enhance the Independent’s in-depth news coverage and analysis.“The challenge is enormous, but surmountable,” he said. “We will deliver the Zimbabwe story, the successes and failures, in a dynamic way and using various media platforms.”

Madanhire said: “The Standard is such a great newspaper which veteran journalist Maruziva has so ably mentored over the past few years. To continue from where he has left off is always going to be a huge challenge.” The group will be re-branding the Standard to make it the leading family Sunday paper in the country, Ncube disclosed.

Wetherell said: “We have assembled the ‘A team’ here to take on the challenge facing us. Readers need have no worries about their favourite newspapers. Our flagship, the Independent, will continue to be the first-class read it has always been, soon to be complemented by a new-look Standard. NewsDay is geared to be the country’s leading daily which will provide the fresh outlook and robust voice Zimbabwe so urgently needs.”

Meanwhile, as part of the restructuring, David Farai Chifamba  has been appointed general manager of Munn Marketing, the distributor of the Independent, the Standard, the Financial Gazette and over 70 regional and international magazines. Chifamba holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Cape Town and was formerly general manager in charge of operations at Truworths.

“My vision is to ensure that Munn Marketing is firmly established as a market leader and distributor of choice, offering superior service-delivery and product excellence,” said Chifamba. — Staff Writer.