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Zimbabwe Government Reported In Bailout Of Friendly News Group

News reports and media sources said the Zimbabwean government is pouring some Z$178 billion (US$8.9 million) into the Mirror Newspaper Group to allow it to revive the Daily and Sunday Mirror Newspapers, both of which ceased publication in March.

It was not clear which government branch would be putting up the funds. Mirror Group Chairman Jonathan Kadzura said in March that his publications ran into a shortage of newsprint, but knowledgeable sources said the holding company was bankrupt.

The Central Intelligence Organization was said to have taken control of the papers in 2005, though its previous owner, Ibbo Mandaza was trying to regain control.

Mirror Acting Chief Executive Tichaona Chifamba denied the media group was being bailed out by the government, whose policies were supported in Mirror columns.

Legal officer Wilbert Mandinde of the Zimbabwe branch of the Media Institute of Southern Africa told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that he welcomes media plurality, but thinks Harare should come clean on the deal as public money is involved.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...