AS the media war hots up, the Herald’s editor is encouraging attacks on the private media claiming deception and falsehoods.
Report by MuckRacker
“Read the private media and they never praise President Mugabe regardless of any good he does for the nation; that would be inimical to the purpose they were founded and funded for,” writes Herald columnist Panganai Kahuni.
“People also find the attempt at agenda setting by the local private press nauseating.”
Do they Panganai? What about journalists who are so brainwashed they can’t criticise the president at all despite his record of failure. He is not only head of state but head of government who sets policy for the nation as a whole. But columnists in the Herald are not allowed to point to his many failings as a ruler.
The Herald itself is not permitted to draw attention to these failings except always putting lipstick on a pig.
Instead we read lickspittle accounts of his achievements by people like Kahuni who don’t understand that the duty of the public media is to perform a watchdog role in society, not a pathetic praising-singing role which any fool can do.
The private press on the other hand when performing its role has to face an array of repressive legislative measures designed to silence inconvenient voices.
This is all OK with the public media which doesn’t have a mind of its own. The best they can do is refer to “national readership surveys” by way of justification.
But instead of serving the public, the public media serves as a partisan organ for the party that lost the last elections.
They find nothing unethical about that. As for us never praising the president, Kahuni should find something praiseworthy Mugabe has done and write to us.
We will then consider it for publication.
Zanu PF fear formula
Then we had Patrick Chinamasa’s shocking comment that the army would not accept an electoral victory by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. It was followed soon after by similar sentiments by Rugare Gumbo and Douglas Nyikayaramba.
Nyikayaramba was quoted in the Herald saying the “interests of these political parties are against Zimbabwe’s sovereignty”.
“It is futile for a government to prepare and maintain a military force for physical defence only, but only to find the state structure collapsing from within because of subversion or economic failure or an ideological explosion.”
Nyikayaramba has made such remarks before. But now we have the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs and Zanu PF spokesman –– who by the way are unelected –– saying the army would not accept Tsvangirai.
Gumbo said the outcome of such a poll could be “messy”.
In other words, whoever the people of this country choose as their leader, it would not make any difference. Nyikayaramba and his military messengers will repudiate it on the specious grounds that foreigners meddled in the electoral process or attempted to reverse land reform.
This is a tried and tested Zanu PF tactic: invent a threat and then use it as a means to arrest people.
Here again the gullible state media assists by taking the non-existent threat seriously.
We recall the arrest of MDC MPs in 2000 who were incarcerated for a year in Bulawayo on the spurious grounds that they were involved in the kidnapping and murder of Cain Nkala.
In the witch-hunt that followed, David Coltart’s election agent, Patrick Nabanyama disappeared and was never seen again.
Mugabe called those arrested “terrorists” and the Herald gave it front page treatment.
It was one of several episodes where a large group of people were picked up and held and accused of killing Zanu PF supporters and the charges were later dropped because they wouldn’t stand up in court.
Justice Sandra Mangwira slammed the police for their clumsy investigation.
‘High level’ summits
It seems no conference or summit goes unattended by President Mugabe and this week he was gracing the World Energy Forum in Dubai.
The “high level” conference was expected to “explore the roadmap towards a cleaner, safer and sustainable global energy system for the benefit of all nations” crooned the Herald.
In June Mugabe’s 92-strong entourage’s jaunt to the ironically named Sustainable Development summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil gobbled up US$7 million.
Last year Mugabe also took a bloated delegation to yet another “high level” conference on youth in New York.
Mugabe was among only a handful of heads of states to the conference mostly attended by senior government officials.
Clearly the plea made by Finance minister Tendai Biti for a reduction in foreign travel by government officials, which has blown a US$45 million hole in the fiscus, fell on deaf ears.
The Dubai visit was also juxtaposed with yet another visit to Singapore.
Irony writ large
Zanu PF has urged its delegates to the Copac second all stakeholders conference to be “exemplary and disciplined” in order to successfully conclude the final phase of the constitution-making process, ZBC reports.
Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said the delegates should remain calm even in the face of “extreme provocation” as they know of people who have been hired to disrupt the process.
He said the delegates have a national responsibility to craft a constitution which will be used by many generations to come.
Ironically the chaos which engulfed the first all stakeholders conference in 2009 was caused by Zanu PF with the party’s officials, including Saviour Kasukuwere and Patrick Zhuwawo, being accused of leading the disturbances.
Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo’s opening address was drowned-out by Zanu PF activists who chanted party slogans and danced into the centre of the auditorium, egged on by war veterans leader Joseph Chinotimba.
The Zanu PF officials threw missiles at delegates while Chinotimba danced on a table, rendering the conference a farce.
Now Gumbo would have us believe the other parties might hire people to disrupt the constitution-making process when it is clear they emanate from Zanu PF.
The High Court dismissed a last-minute attempt by a Danny Musukuma who, despite being a Zanu PF delegate in the all stakeholders conference, wanted to block it claiming Copac had acted in contempt of court after it failed to furnish him with a hard copy of the national statistical report.
Not so civil servants
Meanwhile registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede and three top police officers were also registered as Zanu PF delegates at the conference.
NewsDay reports Mudede was listed as delegate number 200 while Police Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena and Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai were delegate number 346 and 347 respectively.
The other senior cop set to attend the conference on a Zanu PF ticket is Officer Commanding Harare Province Assistant Commissioner Plaxedes Gezha, registered as delegate 345. There you have it.
No work ethic
One of South Africa’s most distinguished business leaders, Russell Loubser, JSE CEO and former SAA board member, has said South African business leaders are ignoring the crisis unfolding around them.
In a public lecture at Wits University Loubser had withering criticism for former ANC youth leader Julius Malema who he called “an arrogant racist with no work ethic”, according to Business Day.
Malema, who is facing money laundering charges, is a leading proponent of nationalisation of mines. Loubser lambasted “brainless talk about nationalisation”. He singled out Malema when he spoke about a general dropping of standards and the rise of a poor work ethic that hinged on redistribution rather than value creation. This was not in the tradition of Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Oliver Tambo, he said.
Asked to reply, Malema said he was not going to respond to people “trying to be important”.
In the wake of ratings downgrades by Standard & Poor’s, Loubser said confidence in South Africa could not be built in a climate of corruption, violent industrial action and undermining of the judiciary.
Former Zifa CEO Henrietta Rushwaya, who was slapped with a life ban by the football mother body over her role in the Asiagate scandal, has said the verdict was “sexist” because the match-fixing was taking place well before she assumed the position in March 2007.
Without an inkling of remorse Rushwaya told the Sunday Mail: “I feel like they have made me an easy target because I am a woman, but this began way before I was in office and I just fell into the trap.
What a pathetic excuse that is. It is similar to Herald Sports Editor Robson Sharuko’s puerile attempt to hide behind retired Justice Ahmed Ebrahim’s association with Alpha Media Holdings as a public ombudsman.
“However, I accepted being the scapegoat and I have dusted myself while moving on with my life,” Rushwaya continued.
Rushwaya has since renewed her threat to become a politician.
“I am back to square one,” she said. “I no longer harbour any political ambitions, whether in Gutu East or South, or anywhere,” Rushwaya had said.
“I am turning to God and becoming a born-again. I intend to go for pastoral training at a Theological College.”
It seems her pastoral ambitions have not borne fruit judging by her decision to once again try her luck in the murky world of politics.
If her record at Zifa is anything to go by, all we can say to the electorate is be afraid, be very afraid!