The Community Newspapers’ Association of Zimbabwe (CNAZ) has learnt with deep shock of the sudden death of two senior journalists, Gift Phiri and Ray Matikinye who passed away on the same day on Sunday.
The irony is that these two remarkable scribes both worked for The Daily News at the same time and in the case of Gift, he was still there and had risen from a reporter to an assistant editor. CNAZ is grateful to Daily News management for supporting Phiri both at the time of his illness and taking care of the costs of his burial.
CNAZ also appreciates the support rendered by colleagues in the profession who have been on Gift’s side through his long illness and up to the time he was called by the Creator.
I first came across Gift in 2008 at the height of the violence in the Presidential Run-off elections when ZUJ was holding a workshop at Chibhanguza Hotel in Mutoko. It was a tense workshop particularly after we woke up one morning to the news that a man had been murdered for political reasons and his body was dumped 100 metres away from our hotel. Mutoko was a no-go-area and at that moment almost every journalist wanted to leave in a huff with two days of the workshop to go.
It was this young journalist who contributed a lot and made jokes during sessions who raised his hand as we were deciding on what to do and said, “If we run away from here, we are running away from news. We will tell the World lies”. The workshop melted and with the support of the late Bornwell Chakaodza we gradually decided to continue with the workshop to the last.
It’s hard to forget such a courageous young man, intelligent and very humble. A man made for the profession of journalism! I agree with those who said Gone too soon!
Rest in peace Phiri!
He was a journalist with a great passion for his work. He loved analysis and his typical stories and analysis depicted the animal farm situations he saw in society. That was his line of pursuit even in his complicated Muzambiringa column.
The pinnacle of his profession in my view was when he was Editor of The Star in Masvingo. He turned the paper into a typical provincial mouth piece. He then worked for The Tribune and The Daily News.
May his soul rest in eternal piece!
Issued by Matthew Takaona