The chief sub-editor for H-Metro, Washington Rungano Gwanzura, is reported to have been fired after the daily tabloid unwittingly published a reader comment on Dancehall superstar Soul Jah Love’s death which wished death upon President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his then two Vice Presidents.

Following the embarrassing gaffe, chief sub-editor Gwanzura and his junior Tinashe Chuma were immediately suspended without pay pending a disciplinary hearing.

According to online publication Zim Morning Post, Chuma fell on his sword and resigned from Zimpapers. Gwanzura, on the other hand, appeared before the disciplinary hearing last week. He was subsequently found guilty and fired.

The offending condolence message which landed Gwanzura and Chuma in hot water was published in the H-Metro edition of February 18, 2021, in the feedback column.

“Rest in Peace Sauro. Your music impacted us in so many ways. We have lost a Zimdancehall legend in you. Hapana zvatingazviite, kutonga kwaMwari (there is nothing we can do, it’s the will of God). If only we had a say, tingadei tati kufe mumwe munhu weZanu PF arimu presidium (… we would have said someone in the Zanu PF presidium should die). Go well legend.”

The two journalists were accused of breaching the state-owned Zimpapers Media Group’s Code of Conduct and Grievance Procedure.

Chuma was alleged to have taken the “unacceptable” comment from social media platform Twitter when he was doing the page layout. Gwanzura was charged with “clearing a copy for printing with an unacceptable statement in the feedback column.” The media house charged that as the chief sub-editor, Gwanzura should have spotted the offending comment and removed it.

Following the incendiary condolence message, Gwanzura and Chuma were suspended without pay and benefits for 14 days. They were also barred from setting foot at Herald House until investigations were complete.

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