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Media Commission Again Refuses Newspaper License

Zimbabwe’s Media and Information Commission has again denied the independent Daily News paper a license to resume publication, barred by the state since 2003.

The commission Monday dismissed the latest license application from the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, parent company of the Daily News and Sunday News. The refusal came despite a decision earlier this year by the Supreme Court ordering the MIC to reconsider an earlier rejected application.

In its latest decision, the commission accused the paper’s publishers of “inexcusable” violations of the country’s highly restrictive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The MIC ordered the Daily News to stop publishing in September 2003 following an extended dispute over issues including whether the paper was obliged to seek accreditation for its reporters, then its suitability for obtaining a license.

In an interview with reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, Associated Newspapers CEO Sam Nkomo voiced disappointment with the decision but characterized the setback as just one step in a long-term fight for press freedom. There was no response to calls placed to the Media and Information Commission.

More stories from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe