HomeLettersA sloppy piece of journalism

A sloppy piece of journalism

THE article “Five make Bulawayo’s roll of honour” (Zimbabwe Independent, April 2) cannot pass unchallenged. It represents an appalling example of misrepresenting the facts.

ans-serif”>Indeed so far wide off the mark is the report that one must seriously question whether the reporter concerned (Loughty Dube) was even present at the event he purports to describe. Was he perhaps relying upon second or third-hand accounts to cobble together his “report”?

To begin with, the headline is misleading. Nothing could have been further from the minds of those who arranged the special prayer service for the nation in St Mary’s Cathedral, Bulawayo, on March 27, than to promote a “roll of honour” for named individuals.

As was stated very clearly in the course of the service, the intention was rather to honour all those (unnamed) courageous individuals who have made a stand for truth and justice against the onslaught of evil in this country in the post-Independence era (between 1980 and 2004).

We were remembering with gratitude all those who have paid a high price for their Christian integrity, with particular reference to individuals within the church, human rights groups, the media, the legal profession and the medical profession. The individuals selected to represent each group were indeed selected on the basis of their own costly commitment to the ideals of truth and justice – but they stood as representatives of the many rather than in their own right.

The only exception was Archbishop Pius Ncube who was indeed honoured for his singular contribution to the struggle by reading the citations of two international human rights awards which he received in 2003 (and which to date have scarcely been acknowledged in his home country).

Having said this, it should be recorded that your reporter did not even get the list of representative persons correct. The doctor concerned was Dr Sipho Zwana rather than Peter Zwana as reported and your reporter omitted altogether to mention one Ms Madhawu, a young lady who represented the many abused women and children of this country.

The article contains several other errors of fact but we trust that enough has been said to make the point that it was a sloppy piece of journalism which does nothing to enhance the reputation of your paper. The service in Bulawayo under the theme “Deliver us from evil” was indeed a significant event though unfortunately much of its significance was lost on your readers through shoddy reporting.

Rev Graham Shaw,

Christians Together for

Justice and Peace,


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