Exiled veteran Zimbabwean journalist and founder of the banned Daily
News, Wilf Mbanga, has launched a Sunday paper in Zimbabwe, writes
Torby Muturikwa.

Mbanga, who is based in Southampton, England, is the owner and editor of the weekly newspaper The Zimbabwean , which has gained a foothold in Zimbabwe.

The new project, The Zimbabwean On Sunday , hit the streets on February 17 to a warm reception from readers, who rushed to grab copies available from the news stands in Harare.
The launch of The Zimbabwean On Sunday coincided with the third anniversary of The Zimbabwean.

Said Mbanga: "We are delighted to announce the launch of The Zimbabwean on Sunday. Since 2005, The Zimbabwean has been a voice for the voiceless, suffering, people of Zimbabwe – shining a light into the darkness and making a vital stand for freedom of the press and of expression. The Zimbabwean on Sunday will continue in this noble tradition.

"We are grateful to our loyal readers and advertisers who have made The Zimbabwean such a runaway success. We hope you will all enjoy The Zimbabwean on Sunday".

Currently, Zimbabwe has three Sunday papers – Sunday Mail , Sunday News and the private Standard. 

However, soaring production costs have forced the three newspapers to whittle down their circulation, making it difficult for readers to access the papers on Sundays.

South African papers, against this backdrop, have made steady gains in the market, with the Sunday Times and The Star competing with local papers.

The Mail and Guardian , published by South African-based Zimbabwean, Trevor Ncube, and The Sunday Independent , are among the foreign papers currently circulating in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean On Sunday, like The Zimbabwean, is to be run and produced from England but distributed in Zimbabwe.

Previously, Mbanga suffered attacks by security agents who in October 2006 raided and confiscated copies of The Zimbabwean following a story carried by the paper which police said was inflammatory.