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Monday, 29 January, 2001, 10:41 GMT
Daily News hits the streets
Deputy editor Davison Maruziva (left) and assistant editor Bill Saidi looking at the damage
Senior staff inspect the presses after the blast
By Joseph Winter in Harare

Just 24 hours after its printing press was blown up in a series of bomb blasts, The Daily News is once again on the streets of Harare.

The paper only has 16 pages - half the usual 32 - but the fact that it has come out at all will greatly boost the morale of both its workers and Zimbabwe's newspaper-reading public.

This newspaper is ready to continue the fight

Geoff Nyarota
Daily News editor
Naturally, the bombing is the lead story. The editorial points an accusing finger at either war veterans, who last week threatened to "ban" the paper, or the government which accuses it of being a mouthpiece for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

However, The Daily News reveals that notes were found behind the smouldering remains of the printing press claiming, "This is the work of the Authentic MDC".

This previously unheard of group accuses the 2 year-old privately owned paper of siding with "the racist white minority" in the MDC, which it blames for recent by-election defeats.

Intimidatory atmosphere

The paper was published by printers who, fearing for their safety, wish to remain anonymous.

The extra cost of paying private printers, compounded by the loss of advertising revenue from fewer pages, will be a massive financial blow to The Daily News, on top of the loss of the US$2m printing press.

Policeman looking at the damage caused
The police have started the investigation
Meanwhile, copies of the state-owned Herald newspaper have reportedly once again been seized and destroyed by opposition activists, in apparent revenge attacks for the public burning of copies of The Daily News by government supporters last week.

On Saturday, just hours before the bombs exploded, a Herald driver was beaten unconscious, while war veterans marched through Harare, snatching copies of The Daily News from terrified passers-by before tearing them to shreds.

Not giving up

Despite the government's condemnation of the bombing and the deployment of police officers to all media institutions to end the newspaper wars, The Daily News remains sceptical about its sincerity.

It points out that no-one has been charged for last year's bombing of its editorial offices or the alleged plot by state security services to assassinate its editor, Geoff Nyarota.

But, The Daily News is not despondent, "For [the] chance to breathe the clean, fresh air of freedom, this newspaper is ready to continue the fight."

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See also:

28 Jan 01 | Africa
Zimbabwe newspaper bombed
19 Jan 01 | Africa
Opposition challenge Mugabe law
15 Jan 01 | Africa
By-election boost for Mugabe
15 Jan 01 | Africa
Zimbabwe's artists under threat
10 Jan 01 | Africa
Opposition 'thrown to lions'
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Zimbabwe
31 Aug 00 | Africa
Zimbabwe editors 'sacked'
23 Apr 00 | Africa
Bomb attack on Harare newspaper
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