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Observers Skeptical As Harare Moots Relaunch Of Banned Newspaper

Zimbabwe's Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu this week raised hopes that the Daily News and Daily News On Sunday, shuttered four years ago by the government for allegedly violating draconian media laws, might hit the streets again.

The move is pursuant to a February decision by high court Justice Rita Makarau, who said Media and Information Commission Chairman Tafataona Mahoso was biased and ordered the MIC to reconsider its decision refusing registration to the newspapers.

Ndlovu, responding, said he has named a new MIC board that will look into the closure of the papers. The MIC's new board includes Chinondidyachii Mararike, Charity Sally Moyo, Edward Dube, Tendai Chari and Ngugi wa Mirii.

But media observers are skeptical as Ndlovu retained Mahoso as chairman and kept board member Pascal Mukondiwa, seen as a staunch government loyalist.

Advocacy Coordinator Abel Chikomo of the Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the composition of the panel despite the nominal overhaul suggests nothing will change.

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