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    Friday, 22 July 2016

    Mirror banners, stands vandalised in Gweru


    – The Mirror which recently rebranded itself into a regional newspaper covering five provinces in the southern part of the country is receiving hostile reception in Gweru where its banners are being torn every week while all stands for banners distributed in the Central Business District have been stolen.
    The matter has been reported to Gweru Central Police Station under case number 7572/16.
    Mirror general manager, Nkulumani Mlambo confirmed the matter and said the company has decided to pursue the issue vigorously. He said there was real fear that unless the thugs involved in this barbaric act are brought to book, they may extend their actions to Mirror journalists and staff members based in Gweru.
    He said the newspaper will pursue every strand of information and make sure that the case is reported to every organisation involved with Freedom of the Press and Free Expression.
    "When we opened our Gweru bureau in Maywe sent newspaper banner stands to cover the whole CBD and they were all removed and missing the next morning. We thought it was a mix-up of our stands with those of national newspapers but newspaper vendors insisted otherwise.
    "Last week on Thursday we sent posters that were placed at different sites throughout the CBD and these were again torn and removed by the next morning," said Mlambo.
    He said The Mirror was an apolitical newspaper which carries, fair and balanced stories and added that it was difficult to link the crime to a political agenda.
    Mlambo said there was also no reason for anybody in Gweru or the Midlands for that matter to regard The Mirror as a competitor.
    "The Mirror is not in competition with anyone. We are a regional newspaper with our own niche market, approach and brand which we have created and built over the last 10 years. We have a marketing concept that is totally different from all newspapers in Zimbabwe and the standards that we have set makes us not only the paper to beat but emulated and copied.
    "In Zimbabwe we have community newspapers on one end and national newspapers on the other. We neither command a community or national market. We don't threaten anybody's market, if at all we spent the last 10 years creating new markets and we have been most successful with schools," said Mlambo.
    He said that The Mirror is aware of hostilities coming from certain quarters and added that The Mirror recently filed an $80 000 High Court lawsuit against a newspaper that published falsehoods about The Mirror from Chiredzi although its parent company is believed to be based in the Midlands.
    A printer in the Midlands Province also printed unregistered newspaper for distribution in Masvingo and this paper carried the same name and masthead as The Mirror.
    That newspaper only stopped publishing after the Zimbabwe Media Commission intervened.
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