Mahoso taken to task

BULAWAYO - Bulawayo-based journalists on Wednesday stunned Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) executive Tafataona Mahoso into uncharacteristic silence when they demanded his resignation for “open bias” against independent newspapers.

Journalists hurled brickbats at Mahoso, the ZMC chief executive officer, in the presence of his bosses “for instigating the closure of several newspapers including Daily News” during his tenure as Media Information Commission (MIC) chairperson.

Mahoso was part of a team of commissioners which met journalists to hear their concerns about the commission’s operations after their board meeting.

Soon after commission chairperson Godfrey Majonga’s presentation, journalists from both state and privately-owned media asked why Mahoso remains part of the commission when he presided over the closure of five newspapers in the country.

Commissioner Christopher Mutsvangwa said  the issue should not be debated as MIC no longer existed.
“MIC is no longer in existence. We are not here to talk about the past. We are also not here to talk about what Mahoso did when he was chairperson of the board,” said Mutsvangwa.

Journalists said the former Harare Polytechnic journalism lecture be expelled from the commission unless he apologised.

Majonga also said Mahoso should not be chided for what happened in the past as did chairperson of the newly-established Zimbabwe Media Council Henry Muradzikwa who argued that axing Mahoso would impinge positive progress in the fraternity.

 A former Daily News official Innocent Kurwa blasted the “ZMC for their continued protection of an individual whose political affiliation is paraded on weekly basis on ZBC and the Sunday Mail”.

Kurwa said there was no need for the commissioners to defend Mahoso when he could defend himself.

Mahoso runs a column on the Sunday Mail called African Focus while on ZBC he is part of the panellists to programmes such as National Ethos and Zvevanhu.

One of the commissioners, Chris Mhike, who facilitated the meeting promised the journalists that “all the concerns were going to be looked into by the commission”.

Mahoso was forced to duck a barrage of questions from  members of the media.

After the meeting, unlike his fellow members who mixed and mingled with journalists, Mahoso quickly disappeared to his hotel room.

Meanwhile, the ZMC also made announcements that they were not going to increase the registration fees for the media houses and practitioners for 2013.

“The fees regime that operated from 2012 will thus not change for 2013. The commission will carry out an accreditation outreach programme during the first two weeks of 2013,” said Majonga.

He said the commission will visit all major centres to accredit journalists so that they will not have to travel to Harare.

He also said the journalists and media houses can now assess the accreditation forms on line.

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