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A planned media briefing by Econet Wireless’s banking unit, Steward Bank, failed to take place today after journalists demanded an apology from the mobile phone operator for its raid Thursday on business news agency, The Source.

Former Econet chairman, Mr Tawanda Nyambirai, who was introduced as the legal head of the bank refused to apologise before journalists mobbed him and started singing.

The journalists, led by Zimbabwe Union of Journalist secretary general Foster Dongozi refused to entertain Mr Nyambirai saying Econet’s behaviour to gag the media was unacceptable. The journalists then walked out of the press conference room after a heated argument with Mr Nyambirai.

Econet invaded The Source newsroom in a bid to retrieve information belonging to the mobile phone operator. This was after the online publication published two articles about Econet and Steward Bank.

One of the articles titled “Debt-distressed Zimbabwe moves to reschedule domestic debt claimed that Government had borrowed $30 million from Econet, disbursed through Steward Bank, in a deal brokered by Mr Nyambirai.

The article claimed Mr Nyambira pocketed a substantial facilitation fee for brokering the deal, for which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe acted as the guarantor.

Source : The Herald