The Daily News has been granted Licence

A special committee set up in September last year to review the Media and Information Commission’s refusal to grant the paper a licence said it was “satisfied that the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) have complied with the provisions of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act” in their application

The ‘Special Board Committee on ANZ’ acting chairman Edward Dube wrote to the ANZ’s lawyers on Thursday advising them "to contact the relevant authority for their licence.”

Dube also wrote to Information Minister Webster Shamu advising him of the decision.

The move paves the way for the return of what was once the country’s biggest selling daily newspaper and its sister paper, The Daily News on Sunday.

But the newspaper’s publishers must wait for a few more weeks to get a licence. The previous licencing authority, the Media and Information Commission (MIC), was abolished by a constitutional amendment. The MIC is to be replaced by the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).

The Parliamentary Standing Rules and Orders Committee has set next Monday as the day for conducting interviews for people who applied to sit on the ZMC board. It will forward the names of not less than 12 nominees to President Robert Mugabe who will whittle the list down to nine.

Meanwhile, New understands the ANZ’s majority shareholder Strive Masiyiwa “no longer has interest in newspapers” and will likely transfer his shareholding to a “Staff Trust” for former Daily News employees.

A power sharing government formed in February committed itself to guaranteeing media freedoms and moved to disband the MIC which was described by a judge as “biased”.

This week, the government said foreign journalists were free to come to Zimbabwe – including the BBC which pulled out its Harare correspondent eight years ago.