Digital Content

Management at the government’s Chronicle newspaper has ordered Internet service provider, M-Web, to investigate how a hacker broke into its website and posted ‘unpalatable’ stories that denigrated or criticised President Robert Mugabe. Stories critical of Mugabe were posted in Tuesday’s online edition of The Chronicle after a hacker gained access to its website

Some of the stories published online read ‘Mbeki too soft with Mugabe’, ‘Mugabe lives large in South Africa’-in reference to the Zimbabwean leader’s last trip to South Africa where he attended the burial of veteran South African nationalist, Walter Sisulu

The other story headlines read ‘Mugabe’s future under scrutiny’, ‘Indefinite mass job stay away on the cards’, ‘Writing on the wall for Mugabe’, while the lead online story was entitled ‘Mugabe must go’.

All the stories that were used in the website were lifted from The Standard, The Daily News, Financial Gazette, South Africa’s Sunday Times and some international news agencies. The Chronicle, in its Friday issue, stated that M-Web had said the origin of the hacker was tracked to the United Kingdom. It has also emerged that the paper’s former sub-editors are now under investigation

M-Web said the hacker first tampered with the paper’s website at about 11.00am on Tuesday and allegedly used a foreign web browser and an Internet protocol address masking programme to conceal his identity

However s at Zimpapers said senior management wanted former sub-editors and other senior editorial staff also to be put under investigation. "The person who inserted the stories into our website is someone who has the website’s passwords and access codes. Former sub-editors should be placed under investigation also because they know the password and the access codes to the website," said an insider at The Chronicle. Zimbabwe Standard