Itayi Garande quits or forced out?

LONDON – Zimbabwean Lawyer, turned journalist Itayi Garande, the founding editor of a London based pro Zanu PF website Talkzimbabwe.com has quit his job amid speculation of missed promises and pressure from the UK authorities following attacks on Archbishop John Sentamu – claiming he had been seen wearing dog collar.

Garande announced his dramatic resignation in an article titled "Politics is never what it seems to be".

In the article, there are signs of dejection and frustration, but he does not reveal to his loyal readers who is taking the reigns or the future of the beleaguered website.

Garande writes, "as I sit in a comfortable sunny place in Southern Africa, a few days before returning to the place I have called "home" for the last 16 years, I feel it is an opportune time to pen my last piece as the Editor of the Zimbabwean Guardian.

In today’s publication, Talkzimbabwe.com or The Zimbabwe Guardian (depending on what mood you’re in) is running an apology to Anglican Bishop of York Archbishop John Sentamu –

"THE Zimbabwe Guardian wishes to apologize to Archbishop John Sentamu for a report that we published yesterday claiming that he had been seen wearing a dog collar "several times". Our source had informed us that on Feb. 17, 2008, Archbishop John Sentamu was seen wearing his dog collar while delivering a speech at the Holy Trinity Brompton church in west London.

He was also reportedly seen wearing a dog collar when he recently visited Kenya.

As we cannot fully ascertain the truth in these claims, we wish to withdraw that allegation and apologize to the Archbishop. This was an honest mistake.

The Zimbabwe Guardian operates a code of ethics which states at point 7: “Acknowledge a mistake when it occurs, promptly correct it and ensure it does not recur.” – Editor

It is now believed, The Zimbabwe Guardian editor has got himself into trouble by attacking a Senior Anglican church figure whose authority flows from the Queen of England, the Head of State and there might be plans to revoke his UK residence permit.

Last year in December, MDC Senator Sekai Holland raised concerns about Itayi Garande’s website claiming it had now been ‘infiltrated’ by Zanu PF and was ‘being used to spread stories in support of Mugabe.’

Garande was also involved in a heated exchange with Lance Guma of SW Africa in a live radio interview which degenerated into slinging matches when a point of his deportation from the UK was raised.

In May, another Zimbabwean website Nehanda Radio their reporter Herald Ndlovu wrote – "Lawyer and journalist-wannabe Itayi Garande has within the space of 2 months turned a promising website ‘The Zimbabwe Guardian’ into a trash writing government mouthpiece.

Under the cover of freedom of speech and covering alternative views Garande is now competing with the Herald to see who can lick Mugabe’s dirty bum the cleanest.

Those who know Garande and his weekly contributions to SW Radio Africa’s Reporters Forum programme will be shocked at his conversion to the Zanu PF religion.

Before the elections Garande slammed the scourge of violence, spoke passionately about how Mugabe rigged elections and even praised Morgan Tsvangirai for his courage in standing up to Mugabe.

Reading his articles now, one can see that he made a u-turn at exactly the time Zanu PF lost the elections and Bright Matonga (Deputy Information Minister and Garande’s close friend) rose to prominence in the ministry.

It is also a public secret that Garande is friends with sports fitness ‘guru’ and Zanu PF activist Themba Mliswa and Minister Bright Matonga. He also speaks regularly with Mugabe spokesman George Charamba. It’s also widely rumoured that Garande wants to open the Zimbabwe Guardian newspaper in Zimbabwe by the end of December.

It is not this writer’s intention to accuse on the basis of circumstantial evidence but it does look like Garande has offered his services to the Mugabe regime from the way he is constantly defending them. Whether he is being paid for it or he simply believes in the Zanu PF cause is subject to speculation and another matter all together. – Nehanda Radio

Nehanda Radio was eventually threatened with a law suit and it is not known what came out of that pursuit and like many, including this writer, have been threatened with law suits by the dimunitive lawyer-turned media mogul.

This morning speculation has been rife that, plans to secure a licence to establish The Zimbabwe Guardian print newspaper in Zimbabwe fell through following the sacking by Robert Mugabe of the motor-mouthed Bright Matonga from the post of Deputy Minister of Information.

The UK government has been clamping down on rogue elements causing trouble or fanning violence, human rights abuses in foreign countries from its territory.

Another London based Zimbabwean journalist, Peter Mavunga who is a long time Robert Mugabe apologist and works for the UK government, was recently threatened with deportation and he has since recoiled, mellowed and has thrown away his all sorts.