By Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ)
The Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) has learnt with deep sadness the tragic news of the passing on of the Daily News Assistant editor, Maxwell Sibanda.
The veteran journalist is reported to have passed on at a local hospital in Harare on the 22nd of February.
Bla Max as the soft spoken character was affectionately called within the media circles leaves behind a rich legacy in journalism.
His career in the media sector stretches over decades, having served at the Daily News at the inception of the newspaper and among the rare breed of journalists that shone the light in critical media at the turn of the millennium, boldly declaring truth to power.
Sibanda, who at the time of his demise was serving as the treasurer of the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum (Zinef) was also highly respected in the arts and entertainment industry.
At the time that he served as Arts and Entertainment editor, Sibanda would raise the profile of unheralded artistes, introducing them to the mainstream media and national platform.
The easily relatable character was also instrumental in advocacy for media freedom, access to information and free expression, a struggle that was close to his heart. He would dedicate space within the Daily News towards critical thinking on media law and policy reform and would ensure that advocacy interventions are amplified within and through the media.
He would actively participate in mentorship and capacity building programs, where he would impart his knowledge and experience to the growing crop of young journalists.
Sibanda will be sadly missed and it is unfortunate that he has passed on at the height of the struggle for media freedom. Maintaining the momentum and defending journalistic and citizens freedom is the only way the media and all concerned stakeholders can and will sustain his legacy.
May his soul rest in eternal peace.