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Complaints report: January 2013
Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe
February 20, 2013

Parties Complaint Status

John Gazi vs. Newsday
(7 December 2012)
Mr John Gazi filed a complaint with the Media Complaints Committee (MCC) over two articles published by the Newsday on 6 December 2012 and 7 December 2012, headlined, "Ex-Commanders back Tsvangirai and "Zipra statements spark controversy."

Mr Gazi alleges that the article published on the 6th of December 2012 is not accurate at all as it quotes a statement written by non-existent former Zipra Commanders.

Mr Gazi says he is a Zipra commander and has communicated with other surviving Zipra commanders who all know nothing about the statement by the alleged Zipra commanders and the statements reported on and quoted in the NewsDay.

Mr Gazi also says he is quoted in an article published the following day and says he never said what is attributed to him.

Mr Gazi says he wants NewsDay to issue a retraction of the story published.

Status: Resolved

The matter was brought before the Media Complaints Committee (MCC). NewsDay was represented at the hearing by Constantine Chimakure, the paper's editor. Mr Gazi outlined his complaint to the committee and also presented to the committee the ZIPRA High Command as it was constituted before independence in 1980.

NewsDay in defence said they verified the statement from which the story was written from and believed the sources were authentic Zipra commanders.

The committee after reviewing the case and listening to both parties resolved that it was important for NewsDay to give Mr Gazi space in the newspaper to explain to the public the structure of the Zipra High Command.

Both parties agreed that it would be in the national interest for Mr. Gazi who still had institutional memory to educate the nation on the piece of history. Mr Chimakure indicated that he was prepared to publish any material that Mr Gazi will present to the paper. Mr Gazi indicated that he was happy with NewsDay giving him an opportunity of presenting the proper Zipra structure.


Dr Kereke vs Daily News (3 January 2013, 7 January 2013, 23 January 2013)

Dr Kereke filed a complaint with the VMCZ over three articles published by the Daily News on 3 January 2013, 7 January 2013 and 23 January 2013.

Dr Kereke complain that the articles published are highly malicious of him and contain highly defamatory falsehoods.

Dr Kereke complains that the stories are wholly false as they imply that he is involved in vote buying yet he is not involved in any such activity.

Dr Kereke further states that the three portray him in bad light and affect his social standing in society.

Dr Kereke further states that he is aggrieved as the stories allege that he is corrupt and that he should be investigated for his donations implying that he might have stolen the money.

Dr Kereke is also aggrieved that he was not given a right of response to the allegations raised in the three stories.

Status: Pending

Both Dr. Kereke and the Daily News, represented by Executive Deputy Editor, Chris Goko appeared before the committee. Dr. Kereke presented his case before the committee and said he wants the daily News to apologise to him over the three stories written.

In response Mr Goko said his paper stands by the three stories published and gave responses to issues raised by Dr. Kereke

However the committee felt that the Daily News responses were not adequate and ordered the paper to prepare detailed and itemised responses to all issues raised by Dr. Kereke within a week.

Both parties, Dr. Kereke and the reporter who authored the story, were ordered to get a record of their communications for the month of January 2013 and avail to the committee.

The matter was adjourned and will resume when both parties have availed the committee with the required documents.

The committee however received evidence produced by Dr. Kereke and will be used in the determination of the case.

The Daily News has however requested for an extension to the date for handing over responses in the matter as they claim they have challenges accessing required records from a mobile phone operator.


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