A cash crunch has forced ZimbabweÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Central Intelligence Organisation
(CIO) to suspend publication of the Mirror Group newspapers it took
over two years ago, writes Torby Muturikwa.
On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday last week, The Daily Mirror failed to publish forcing management to shut up shop.
Management told staff on Thursday that The Daily Mirror had stopped publishing because of serious cash flow problems.
The ZMNG has been battling to stay afloat since the beginning of the year. It lost revenue owing to poor advertising as advertisers shied away from newspapers taken over by spooks.
The Daily Mirror and its sister paper, the Sunday Mirror, are saddled with debts amounting to over Z$500 million (R5million).
The advertising revenue base and print run had shrunk to new lows. Both papers had their print run whittled down to 2000 compared to 15 000 and 18 000 copies recorded when founding editor Ibbo Mandaza was still in control.
Mounting printing debts meant there was no newsprint for the daily paper.
The CIO two years ago wrested control of the two papers and booted out Mandaza in a messy boardroom coup which spilled into the High Court.
Mandaza won a High Court order allowing him to return to the papers he founded but the CIO offered to compensate him although he is yet to get a golden handshake.
The closure of the Daily Mirror and The Sunday Mirror, adds to a growing list of unemployed journalists in Zimbabwe where it is difficult to practice owing to a harsh media environment.