Ncube, who is deputy chairman of Mail & Guardian publisher M&G Media, explains that this is because the Zimbabwean government has still not issued the licence NewsDay requires before the printing presses can begin rolling.
“We are going to launch NewsDay.co.zw, probably in the next week or so,” Ncube says. “We will use social media like Twitter to help publicise the website.”
The site will be hosted in Zimbabwe — news websites are not subjected to the same draconian licensing rules as newspapers.
Ncube has been waiting nearly a year for a licence to print NewsDay. But he remains optimistic that the political situation in Zimbabwe is slowly returning to normal and that a deal being brokered by SA president Jacob Zuma between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change will result in the lifting of restrictions on the country’s media.
“It’s central to the deal,” Ncube says.
“We think the current negotiations, facilitated by president Zuma’s emissaries, look promising and that a deal between the protagonists might be clinched, if not before the end of this year, then certainly by early next year.”
Ncube hopes the print version of NewsDay will hit the streets by June 2010 at the latest. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral