IN language reminiscent of the Mirror’s “Behind the Words” column in the run-up to the February 2000 referendum on the draft constitution, the Herald’s Nathaniel Manheru continues to attack individuals perceived as critical of Zimbabwe’s
human rights record.
In recent instalment targeted former British ambassador to Zimbabwe Sir Brian Donnelly, Kristina Svensson of the Embassy of Sweden and other Western countries, lacing the attacks with the usual MDC bashing.
Manheru accused Svensson of “stretching incidents and occurrences quite normal in any political clime for dire and damning conclusions”.
Svensson’s sin? She organised a visit to Sweden by Zimbabwean journalists after Zanu PF apologists claimed in public that Aippa of 2002 was a much improved version of Sweden’s Freedom of the Press Act of 1766.
In Sweden, The Tribune’s offence would have attracted a maximum fine of a mere US$140 after proceedings in a court of law. Under Aippa there is a “super” seven-man body (yes, seven yes men) that can decide that a normal business operation should not exist in a country struggling economically.
In any case, what social misfit convinces himself that the closure of three newspapers resulting in the loss of over 1 000 jobs in less than two years, the deportation of foreign journalists critical of the Zanu PF regime, the loss of lives due to politically-motivated violence, the bombing of media houses and other human rights violations are “quite normal” occurrences?
Is it not time these anti-social elements in our society were rehabilitated?