HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s adviser Trevor Ncube announced new editorial changes at his Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) on Tuesday, including a change of guard at the respected weekly, the Zimbabwe Independent.
Faith Zaba will take over as editor of the Independent from November 1, after Dumisani Muleya who has been at the helm for eight years was shunted to a newly-created position of “group editor at large.”
NewsDay editor Wisdom Mudzungairi has been promoted to editor in chief. He will continue editing the daily.
Kholwani Nyathi will continue as editor of The Standard, Ncube announced.
“The board is convinced that these changes will ensure we enhance the quality of service to our clients as well as be more efficient in the execution thereof,” the AMH chairman said.
Ncube has leaned on his editors to be more positive about Mnangagwa’s regime, once publicly criticising NewsDay for correctly projecting that the bond note would weaken against the United States dollar.
Insiders say whereas Mudzungairi and Zaba were enthusiastic supporters of the military coup that ousted former President Robert Mugabe in 2017, Ncube had found Muleya intransigent with the Independent taking a stridently hostile editorial line to the regime.
Media groups fear Ncube has sacrificed Muleya to gain favours from the regime.
Zaba accompanied Ncube to a meeting with Mnangagwa in January 2018, at which she handed over a framed front page of NewsDay which carried a headline of Mnangagwa declaring that Mugabe would be ousted within weeks.
A month later, Ncube visited Mnangagwa’s wife, tweeting later that it was a “courtesy call.”
He was finally rewarded for his enthusiastic support for the regime when Mnangagwa named him to a Presidential Advisory Council early this year.
Reports say Ncube recently opened talks with Mnangagwa’s son-in-law Gerald Mlotshwa to take up 30 percent shareholding in AMH, which would complete the ongoing moves to capture the media group.
Meanwhile, Ncube announced the appointment of Kenias Mafukidze as CEO. Chief operating officer Kangai Maukazuva has been given an extra role as managing director of AMH’s Heart and Soul radio, currently broadcasting online after failing to obtain a licence.
Takelah Gondokondo takes over as head of finance, replacing Brian Maphosa who resigned recently.