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New Zimbabwean Newspaper fills Information gap

23 February 2005 - IFEX Communiqué (The)

For the more than 2 million Zimbabweans who live abroad, access to independent news and information about events in their troubled homeland will be much easier to obtain, thanks to a new publication that hit the streets in London and Johannesburg on 11 February 2005.

"The Zimbabwean" is a weekly newspaper that aims to bridge the information gap between Zimbabweans in the diaspora and current events in their former country, says founder Wilf Mbanga. It will also seek to harness the energies of exiles, many of whom are isolated, marginalised and voiceless, Mbanga says. "They are hungry for news about home and effectively cut off from their families and each other. Many do not have access to the internet at work or at home and are dependent upon internet cafes and e-mail."

"The Zimbabwean" will focus on news from Zimbabwe as well as life in exile. The content will have a heavy emphasis on Zimbabwean politics, but will also include arts and culture, business, sports, gender issues, social issues and news analysis. Letters to the editor will be a key feature, as will classified ads.

Faced with a hostile environment for independent media in Zimbabwe under President Robert Mugabe, many young journalists have been forced out of the country into hardship and unemployment abroad, says Mbanga. Some of these journalists have teamed up with Mbanga, who founded the "Daily News", Zimbabwe's most popular independent newspaper until the government forced it to close in 2003.

Looking ahead, Mbanga says the upcoming general election in March makes it more important than ever that Zimbabweans have access to independent news. "We will ensure that our coverage is accurate, fair and balanced," he promises.

"The Zimbabwean" will soon be published online at:

To contact the newspaper, e-mail:

Contact the editor by clicking here Editor