By Puro Masorera
ZIMBABWE has become a nation of hypocrites. Most of these can be seen sadly tucked in the Herald and Sunday Mail columns or the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings.
The leader of these hypocrites is none other than Tafataona Mahoso. Freedom of speech is of paramount importance but the same people who should ensure this is enhanced are the ones holding machetes to the media.
I strongly believe the University of Zimbabwe’s English department is the main culprit in churning out hypocrites. Several doctorate holders from this department have made most parents scared to encourage their kids to take up English or Media Studies at tertiary level.
Most of these doctors seem to have frozen in the year 1980-81. Sometimes one does not see the difference between such people and characters like Joseph Chinotimba.
Other people like Herald political and features editor Caesar Zvayi can be forgiven for thinking the media and geography are the same thing.
I refer to the Zimbabwe Independent, September 30 for example, since I do not buy the Herald and the Sunday Mail, which to me are insulting propaganda works.
I cannot afford to buy propaganda. I cannot buy anything that demeans my intelligence. Anything that considers its readers foolish and naïve is an insult to me and hence I can never waste my money on it!
Mahoso, in a letter in the Independent, talks about the side of the story of his commission not being presented. How many times have we seen him and his cronies attacking individuals, organisations and the independent media left, right and centre, yet these groups are afforded no chance to reply?
The Daily News, for instance, is suffocated, yet it is now just a corpse with not the slightest chance of replying.
Mahoso talks of the laws of Zimbabwe being superior. Why is he not following them in the Daily News and Tribune cases?
Why is he convinced that any law, just because it belongs to a country, is just?
Perhaps a dose of Martin Luther King Jnr can help him: “Any law that degrades the human personality is unjust.” Mahoso should note that, according to German laws of the 1930s, it was legal to oppress Jews. It was legal in Zimbabwe to kill so-called dissidents in the early 80s, but was it just?
We expect better from you Sekuru Mahoso.
The consultative meetings he carried out throughout Zimbabwe and alluded to in the article are suspect. I have never heard anyone saying he attended or was invited to such meetings.
Just who was he consulting with, and where?
He talks of unethical and criminal conduct in journalism under Section 8 but who defines it? Is it fair and ethical for people of one political party to group together and be guardians of our media?
Why is the independent media the only one punched with that law now and again yet we have clear cases of the Zanu PF-controlled media doing even worse things like publishing false stories of bombings of tall buildings in Bulawayo, sabotage of fuel by Mozambicans, MDC activists giving themselves up and confessing that they were trained in South Africa to fight the government?
Who is following up on all such cases? Why do the callers who get through to ZBH’s Face the Nation programme sound identical, and with seemingly predetermined questions? Are we a nation of zombies and robots? Who is fooling who? Tell us Sekuru Mahoso, for we are tired of your endless nganos (fairy-tales) in which you quote outdated writers in the newspapers.
Why should the code of ethics be shaped in your own image?
I think there is no worse segregationist than the one who tries to feed a nation with silly ideas thinking that the same nation consists of only gullible people.
Why would one talk about the death of people in Iraq just to show how foolish America is, yet forget about the deaths in his own backyard?
Why should one be shadowboxing with papers like the Daily News which he played a major role in banning and knows fully well that it will not reply?
If the Daily News was that bad, and if the MIC represents the interests of the majority, why ban a paper that was selling twice better than its competitors?
Were the consumers of the Daily News stupid and the MIC correct? Why should we be given similar rehearsed opinions in the ZBH and be expected to pay licences for the same unchallenged opinions from people belonging to one political party?
It’s unfortunate that some of the old horses in the MIC do not want to take the chance to retire back to their villages to take care of their grandchildren but instead choose to harass us.
We are sick and tired of the half-cooked British conspiracy theories. Why would Britain want to colonise us again? Are we the best of all its former colonies? What about Hong Kong, the USA, Australia? Please spare us that hogwash just because you are the sole panelist on our television. We are tired of you mentally raping us! Is it not sad that we have developed our own new meanings of words due to these media terrorists?
Words like musangano now mean only Zanu PF. “Sovereignty” means perpetuating Zanu PF rule, “patriotism” means agreeing to everything that Mugabe says, “Independence” means putting Zanu PF in power, and “Zanu PF” itself means Mugabe, for whatever he says will be his followers’ command.
If Mugabe today says Vice-President Joseph Msika is an enemy, the rest of Zanu PF will run for his blood without sitting down to think about it.
When Mugabe says Zimbabwe is not hungry, he means himself and Zanu PF are not hungry.
When he says Zimbabwe will get fuel, he means Zanu PF will get fuel. Zanu PF has privatised words. It is unfortunate that our hypocrites have turned a blind eye to all that, concentrating on Hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan and Iraq, among several of their limited topics.
If they are not doing so, they will be busy lynching the independent media. If they are brave enough and convinced they are right, then let them free the media, it’s what should be done!
Perhaps the celebrated late author Dambudzo Marechera would come in handy for most of our state writers who think if he was alive today he would support them.
That is totally insane.
He says: “A writer is part of society; a writer notices what is going on around him, sees the poverty every day.” How can writers like Nathaniel Manheru try to whitewash poverty and still think they are better than Marechera? They should be realistic and get a life!
* Puro Masorera is a Masvingo-based writer.