The Patriot faces collapse
THE Patriot newspaper is teetering on the brink of collapse with employees going for months without salaries amid waning fortunes since the inauguration of the ‘Second Republic,’ Zim Morning Post can report.
This publication understands that only a skeleton-staff is reporting for duty while the printing press has been attached by the Sheriff.
Sources say Zimbabwean lawyer and writer Petina Gapah advised President Emmerson Mnangagwa to destroy the paper if he wanted to successfully re-engage the West.
“When Gapah was part of the Presidential Advisory Council she took her sentiments on social media and publicly advised the President to destroy The Patriot,” said a well-placed source.
The paper, once rated as the highest paying media organisation in the country, is now a pale shadow of its former self.
It had over the years become a reference source mostly for students in tertiary institutions because of its strong pro-Government and Africa stance but has found no backing in the New Dispensation.
“Only a chosen few were transferred to the Zanu PF information department. The destruction of the paper was instigated by Petina Gapah when she was an adviser to President Mnangagwa, who infamously, on social media, advised the president to “destroy The Patriot” if he wanted to be successful in reengaging the west,” said a highly placed source.
Information gathered revealed that drivers at the publication secured a writ of execution to attach company vehicles over outstanding salaries.
At its peak,The Patriot was known for its gloves-off approach on matters relating to Western Powers’ interests in Zimbabwe.
It was widely seen as a project of the late Robert Mugabe.
Speculative reports suggest that this connection is among the reasons the “new dispensation” has neglected the paper.
“Through the paper we had been given the opportunity not to just hit back but to expose Western lies and double standards,” said a former contributor to the paper, who declined to be named fearing reprisal.
“Anyway that’s us Africans, we hate looking into the future and valuing institutions that seek to build for the long term, we prefer to be reactive rather than being proactive, but you can ask the Americans and the British and they will tell you at its peak The Patriot caused them sleepless nights.”
“But trying to destroy the paper by not paying workers to force them to leave is not that clever. It is through The Patriot that we have documentaries like Mavhonde and Zanla comes to town,” the former contributor told Zim Morning Post.
The local media landscape has been hit by poor wages compelling journalists to turn to political activism to eke a living.
Efforts to get a comment from the paper’s management hit a snag at the time of writing.
The Patriot faces collapse
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