Journalists launch investigative reporters network, forum expected to improve journalism in Zimbabwe 

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By Thandiwe Garusa

MEDIA practitioners from different newsrooms in the country Wednesday launched the Zimbabwe Investigative Journalists Network (ZIJN) in a move to develop and enable effective reportage.

The ZIJN launch, supported by Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) under whom it will be housed in its formative years, was attended by doyens within the media industry, who include former publisher of the Parade Magazine, Andy Moyse.

Speaking at the launch, ZIJN Chairperson Owen Gagare, who was voted into office at the event after leading its steering committee, said the association would not be an elite grouping but would accommodate senior, mid-career and young journalists with an interest in investigative journalism.

“Investigative journalism is high risk, expensive, time consuming and demanding and because of that, in most newsrooms it is not practised, either because of the lack of resources or other reasons, but some journalists have gone out of their way to try and dig for stories which had a high impact, so it shows us that investigative journalism is still alive but needs us to inject maybe impetus so that we reach another level,” said Gagare.

“There was recognition that if we form a network of like-minded journalists, we can encourage and push each other so that the levels of investigative journalism in the country goes a notch higher.

“Ultimately, there is a recognition that investigative journalism being practised in Zimbabwe will mean that the standard of journalism will also improve.

“The network will be there for skills sharing among local and regional and international journalists. The network will also help provide legal and physical protection to journalists facing arrests for their investigative work and to make sure that members are up to date with ever evolving science and technology by making use of data journalism techniques.”

Sebenzile Nkambule of South Africa’s Investigative Journalists Hub (IJHub), which works with investigative hubs in six southern African countries and was also in attendance, said such initiatives were always welcome as they were crucial in facilitating collaborations across borders.

Gagare, NewsHawks news editor, who was elected to lead at the launch, will have the task of setting up and getting the institution, running alongside his deputy Themba Dube (Chronicle), secretary Mary Taruvinga ( and treasurer Nyaradzo Makombe (Star FM).

Leopold Munhende (, Tafadzwa Tseisi, Chipo Gudhe and Tinashe Kairiza (NewsDay) complete the executive.

The event was witnessed by editors, former editors from Zimbabwe’s various news publications, researchers, leaders of journalists’ associations, directors and national coordinators at media support organisations.