The Emmerson Mnangagwa run Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Limited, has fired two members who include government critic Pastor Shingi Munyeza.
The Herald however reported saying the two have resigned from the board, while a third will be leaving following indications by the ZSE-listed company’s majority shareholder that it intends to renew the board as the firm enters a new era of digitalisation and free-to-air public broadcasting.
Dr Shingi Munyeza and Mrs Rejoice Nharaunda-Makawa have resigned while Mrs Karen Dube will be stepping down, the main newsprint, The Herald reported saying.
The development comes after the pastor spent over a year criticising the leadership of Mnangagwa following the state sanctioned military crackdown of January 2019 in which over 50 women were raped and over 17 people killed. Pastor Munyeza has been running short video programs using Biblical texts and was an example that the government was using to to explain that it tolerates criticism.
Sources told ZimEye, the cleric was “told to resign or face a public announcement.”
The Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust is Zimpapers’ majority shareholder.
In a statement last night, Zimpapers board chairman Mr Tommy Sithole said Mrs Dube and Mrs Nharaunda-Makawa have both served for over seven years.
“I informed the three members of the majority shareholder’s desire to replace them at the company’s AGM next month and the two decided to leave with immediate effect,” said Mr Sithole.
“This is normal for a company as diverse as Zimpapers and whose business model is constantly being reviewed due to the difficult economic times, to review its management, board, and the business structures to ensure the company stays ahead of fast-changing developments.
“All three were chairs of our finance, human resources and business development respectively. I am truly grateful for their contribution and dedication to the company and wish them well in their future endeavours.”
Mr Sithole said he was continually in conversation with Zimbabwe Mass Media Trust chairman about the replacements of four members, the fourth being Ms Primrose Ruvarashe Kurasha, who left earlier.
Ms Kurasha lives in South Africa where she is engaged with the University of South Africa and commuting constantly to Harare in the midst of her busy schedule had become a difficult undertaking.
Meanwhile, the development is a slap in the face of the Mnangagwa regime which has claimed that it tolerates criticism.