State media attitude unfortunate

I AM writing this letter to the editor of the Herald and I hope that it will be considered for publication in the interest of fair debate. However, I have previously offered similar sentiments before but felt that I was suppressed, which is why I am copying my opinions to the Zimbabwe Independent editor for his  consideration as well.


Everyone who cares about Zimbabwe is naturally disappointed that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has taken an unusually long time to announce the final result of the presidential election. However, I am more disappointed by the state media, particularly the Herald, and their continued state of denial in the face of the humiliating defeat for Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe. While one can understand the Herald’s bias towards Zanu PF in the run up to the elections, it is beyond comprehension why they still cannot bring themselves to accepting that Zanu PF’s days are numbered.
People voted overwhelmingly for the opposition, and that includes both factions of the MDC and some independent candidates, and this was a confirmation of their total denial of Zanu PF and Robert Mugabe’s disastrous policies of the past few years. For the Herald to continue publishing opinions from some of its semi-literate readers claiming that Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC will never rule Zimbabwe when the evidence from the results announced so far shows that Tsvangirai is most likely going to be the next President of Zimbabwe is to do a disservice to all Zimbabweans.
People have been feeding on the same old diet of childish propaganda but they were able to see beyond these lies. The purpose of an election is to determine the winner, and if the Herald editor and some of his misguided opinion writers do not like the identity of the winner then that is their problem. Many people do not like Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF, but if he was going to win this election fairly then we were all going to take it on the chin and move on.
Curiously enough, soon after the end of the elections the Herald urged its readers and the whole nation to accept the outcome of the result and not resort to any violence. It now appears that this call was only made because the Herald assumed that Robert Mugabe was going to win as their phoney poll published on the eve of the elections had made them believe.
Publishing lies about the MDC’s position on land and inflating tempers by publishing opinions from people who accept no other result than Mugabe’s continued grip on power will only help to breach the peace and stability that the Herald had urged its readers to observe.
The Western powers have their own axe to grind with Robert Mugabe, and for them the only acceptable result is the one that sees Mugabe out of State House. But it is Zimbabweans who voted in this election, and they voted to stop many years of corruption, cronyism, incompetence, and the continued disrespect of their rights and freedom of choice. They did not vote to return land to the colonial powers — a lie that was invented by Zanu PF and which the Herald is finding very difficult to sustain.
I prefer to rely on my home newspapers for news because I believe they are closer to the action and they reflect more what is on the ground. But what kind of journalism does the Herald practise which does not even question why Zanu PF is requesting a recount before the result is known. Everyone is talking about a runoff, but the only evidence we have about a runoff is that the Herald said so.
I do not necessarily expect the Herald to praise Tsvangirai if they do not agree with some of what he promises to do when he forms the next government. In fact, I think it is healthy for the press to be very critical of the government — something that the Herald has not been doing while Zanu PF was in power. However, I still expect any newspaper worth anything to acknowledge that the MDC and Tsvangirai won and quickly move on to tackle what the next government should be doing.
My own preferred candidate Simba Makoni lost dismally in this election, and I do not describe myself as one of Morgan Tsvangirai’s most ardent fans, but he and the whole of the opposition parties surprised everyone by toppling Zanu PF in the just-ended election. No amount of searching for face savers by concentrating on meaningless Zanu PF Senate wins and so-called majority wins in certain provinces will negate the fact that Zanu PF lost.
Nathaniel Manheru — one of the Herald’s chief opinion makers — is entitled to remain Zanu PF to the marrow if he so wishes. He can continue to serve his party with unquestioning loyalty even when Zanu PF is in opposition. But he must be daydreaming to believe that just because he belongs to Zanu PF then only he and his masters have a monopoly on intelligence, and that the rest of other hard-working Zimbabweans are not important. Such ideas from Manheru and those who think like him are, if you will permit me to say, nothing but a bunch of artifices piled on sophistry; a superfluity of egotism served up with insipid inanity!

Hudson Yemen Taivo,
UK.