Daily news case back in court

HARARE - ANZ, publishers of the banned Daily News, this week petitioned the High Court to order the Minister of Information, to declare the paper licenced to publish.

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The company’s chief executive, Sam Sipepa Nkomo, told The Zimbabwean that had sought a meeting with the minister, Tichaona Jokonya, but had received no response.We have been forced to go to court again, as we want finality in this matter. We are seeking another court order to compel the minister to issue us with a licence,” said Nkomo, adding that several attempts to meet with the Jokonya had proved fruitless.

Armed police forcibly shut down the Daily News and its Sunday stable mate more than two years ago after the Supreme Court declared that the two papers were operating outside the law because they were not licenced by the MIC.

The paper had refused to register with the commission, pending the outcome of a court challenge to the constitutionality of the law requiring newspapers to register in order to publish.

But the Supreme Court refused to hear the application because it said the applicant ‘was approaching the court with dirty hands’.

In a later ruling, the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional the requirement that newspapers register with the MIC but the court also said the ANZ could submit to the commission a fresh application for a publishing licence.

The commission last July turned down the ANZ’s new applications for a licence, forcing the company to go back to the courts again.

Earlier this year Justice Rita Makarau quashed the MIC’s decision to refuse to licence the ANZ papers and also further declared that the state board had shown bias and should no longer handle the matter.

Makarau’s ruling means Jokonya has to appoint a board to determine ANZ’s licence application.

Meanwhile, the ZRP have summoned Nkomo to appear in court on spurious fraud charges allegedly committed seven years ago.

“They are just harassing me now. There is no basis to these charges,” said Nkomo. Own correspondent/ZimOnline

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