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Information Minister Moyo Ramps Up Media Outreach

Information Minister Jonathan Moyo continued his outreach to private newspapers on Monday by visiting the Financial Gazette as he seeks better ties with journalists that he alienated and antagonized when he occupied the same position between 2000 and 2005.

With his deputy Super Mandiwanzira in tow, Moyo toured the business weekly’s newsroom and chatted with reporters, telling them he wants warm relations with all media organizations.

Moyo has already visited the NewsDay and its sister papers and the Daily News, which he is accused of shutting down in 2003 to silence opposition voices. He has also urged the media to resist politicization.

Commenting, Misa-Zimbabwe chairman Njabulo Ncube said his organization was "encouraged" by the minister's engagement efforts.

"It is commendable," Ncube said. "We will give him the benefit of the doubt though we know his past. Remember he is the guy who allegedly presided over the closure of the Daily News and others that followed.

"He is also said to have been behind the so-called draconian laws that criminalize the journalism profession in the country. But we are saying if the guy wants to reengage, maybe the leopard is changing its spots, so we are giving him the benefit of the doubt," Ncube added.

Meanwhile, Moyo is set to bring in major editorial changes to government-owned newspapers including the Herald and the Chronicle, as well as the state-broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, according to local media reports.