State media fanning hate speech: PM

HARARE - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned that Zimbabwe could witness a genocide similar to that experienced in Rwanda in 1994 if the State-controlled media continues to spew hate language.

In a letter written to the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said the commission should crack the whip on the State-controlled media.

The letter was written on Tuesday following a series of attacks on MDC officials, as well as the office of the prime minister.  

“We believe that the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) has a critical role to play in ensuring that media houses apply ethical journalism through unbiased, professional and objective coverage of all persons and institutions,” read part of the letter.

“There ought to be due regard to objective reporting if we are to promote peace in the country and if we are to avoid the sad experience of Rwanda in 1994 where the media in that country played a big role in inciting murder, hate speech and genocide.”

Close toa million people lost their lives in the Rwandan genocide where the Hutu ethnic group targeted minority Tutsis.

With Zimbabwe now in election mode, Tsvangirai says the media should not be seen to be “politically divisive and biased, unfairly lampooning public individuals and institutions and peddling hate speech without according the same individuals and institutions their right of reply or the truth.”

Although the unity government has managed  to considerably open the country’s media landscape, the State-contolled media is accused of sidelining Tsvangirai.

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