Herald editor suspended

HARARE - Caesar Zvayi, editor of The Herald newspaper, has been sent on forced leave amid stunning accusations by Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister, Jonathan Moyo that the paper had published a story based on “emotive and false assertions that smack of a hidden political agenda.”

A top government official yesterday said Zvayi had not been suspended but “sent home.”

The State-controlled Herald has been on a crusade against former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, and yesterday’s lead story in the paper, headlined “Gono, Biti ties raise suspicion” was the final straw which angered government with Moyo saying the paper had taken the approach of smearing the former Central Bank boss.

Zimpapers, the company that owns The Herald, said yesterday Zvayi had been sent on forced leave for an unspecified period.

Reports indicated last night that Zvayi had been suspended for a month while the Zimpapers board and government, which controls the publication, were still working out modalities of how to deal with the situation.

Zimpapers apologised for making “unfounded inferences” against Gono that he was unsuitable for the Buhera senatorial post because he had hired Tendai Biti, the MDC secretary general to fight off graft allegations levelled against him by his former advisor Munyaradzi Kereke.

In an agonising retraction, the paper said it had taken remedial action by suspending Zvayi, a former geography teacher who was recently appointed to the hot seat.

A few years ago, Zvayi left the country to join greener pastures in Botswana but was deported.

Since he took over after elections, The Herald has taken a deep interest in the Zanu PF factional fights resulting in the minister of State in President’s office, Didymus Mutasa complaining bitterly about being smeared in the paper.

Pikirayi Deketeke, the Zimpapers group editor-in-chief, confirmed Zvayi’s forced leave, in a brief statement.

“In yesterday’s issue of The Herald we carried a story under the headline: “Gono, Biti ties raise suspicion,” The Herald said in a statement issued by Deketeke. The article makes unfounded inferences that former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor, Dr Gideon Gono, is not a suitable Zanu PF candidate for the vacant Buhera senate seat because he allegedly hired MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti as his lawyer."

“The article also wrongly implies that Dr Munyaradzi Kereke is a Zanu PF legislator. We apologise to both Zanu PF and Dr Gono for any harm that might have been caused by the story. Zimpapers has since sent on forced leave the Editor of The Herald with immediate effect.”

But Moyo was ruthless in his strongly worded statement. He said the story lied that Kereke was a Zanu PF legislator when infact he was expelled before the July 31 elections.

Moyo took exception to false claims that only Zanu PF’s Manicaland province had endorsed Gono’s nomination to fill the vacant senatorial seat in Manicaland, created following the death of liberation icon Kumbirai Kangai.

Moyo accused the State-run daily of being mischievous and ignoring a December 11 Zanu PF politburo meeting that unanimously endorsed the nomination of Gono as senator for Buhera.

“There’s therefore nothing amiss or untoward about the nomination which was done in a transparent manner and in terms of both the law and Zanu PF procedures,” Moyo’s statement partly said.

The minister blasted The Herald for waging “a shameless smear campaign against Gono using the cover of cheap politics.”

“Even worse, The Herald’s undisguised smear campaign against Gono is based on quotations from faceless and nameless sources described as ‘senior Zanu PF officials’ and ‘a Zanu PF politburo member with close ties to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.’

“One does not need to be a rocket scientist to realise not only that the faceless and nameless sources in the unfortunate story are uncreative inventions but also that it is not possible for Kereke, who is clearly the main source of the scurrilous story, to be at one and the same time rolled into ‘senior Zanu PF officials’ and ‘a Zanu PF Politburo member with close ties to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’,” Moyo said.

Moyo said it is sad that The Herald, found it so easy to use an out-dated and discredited tactic of basing serious allegations, false claims and emotive assertions on faceless and nameless Zanu PF sources, adding that such a tactic is not journalism, but political mischief propelled by cowardice.

He described The Herald’s attempt to bring the Zimbabwe Defence Forces “into disrepute” through Kereke’s story “as not just disappointing, but as very shocking, unprofessional and totally unacceptable.”

While acknowledging that Gono’s move to hire Biti as lead legal counsel “might raise some eyebrows” it “should be understood in the clearest of terms that like any other Zimbabwean, Dr Gono is entitled under the country’s constitution to choose his own lawyer.”

Moyo, who has been on a crusade to build bridges and forge a new governance paradigm, said “the notion that there are Zanu PF lawyers and MDC lawyers is a sad commentary on our national politics whose polarisation ‘has gone too far’.”

Added Moyo: “In any event, the hullaballoo over Gono’s selection of the secretary general of the MDC, Tendai Biti, as his lawyer pales into insignificance when compared to the fact that there are many marriages between Zanu PF and MDC members, some of which are pretty high profile. Surely, what is good for the bedroom must also be good for the court room.”

Moyo also said Gono’s nomination was done transparently.

Comments (41)

ndinofunga tava kufambira mberi nenyika zvakanaka, kumbofungawo zvinovaka pane kuita sevana vadiki , hee uyu adai, uyu ndewechakati..... Nyika ino ichasimudzwa nevanhu vanomoyo wenyika kwete avo vanogaro nongedza, kupomera, kupatsanura.

gomo - 19 December 2013

Waenda uyu. We saw it coming. He was becoming too rabid. My Turn is gone. Maybe our turn is back. Now he can write about Tsholotsho donkeys like he wrote the Botswana donkeys.

Maita Manyuka - 19 December 2013

Ceasar Zvayi, Munyaradzi Huni and various reporters at The Herald were the very agents of polarisation and their mindset is still in that mindset. Prof. Jonathan Moyo should visit Zimpapers to emphasise that it's now time to build bridges. Zimpapers reporters should be told that when private media are criticising government service delivery they are not anti-zanu pf but they are doing a service to the readers who are also complaining of poor service delivery by the party in power. Actually we now expect Zimpapers to hold zanu pf accountable to the electorate by fulfilling election promises. We hope Joram Nyathi is following the trend. Bashing the opposition, which is not in power anyway, is not the way any more. Service delivery is the way.

Nkosi Mambo - 19 December 2013

This is a good piece of seriuose business by dear minister. Jonathan is no longer tolarating nonsense form journalist. I think all ministers should take clue from him. Keep it up professor. We need Zimbabwe to move forward, we belong to it all of us. No to manupulation of media by these journalist. we need professional editors.

Noah - 19 December 2013

Thanx so much dhewa, we canot continue to live as enemies in our beloved country

kahembe - 19 December 2013

Kana mukasekerera benzi padhibha rinogona kudimbura muswe wechimhuru.Professor vakaramba vachiita staira idzi tichavanzwa.Gava richazodambura musungo manje.

george - 19 December 2013

Zvaiwana ngwarati zvino vakadepotwa muno futi vano enda kupi ivo VaZvayi vacho? Icho!

gooflife - 19 December 2013

I really never imagined a day that I would applaud you but hey this is something. Good work Professor, we need more people like you.

Noe - 19 December 2013

hezvouko! haaa zvambu dhii pfaru pfaru zii tonho.

mashotopiyana - 19 December 2013

Jonathan Moyo started the culture of appointing editors on partisan grounds. We should remember gono had to publicly show us gold coins which he was alleged to have stolen by Moyo himself using the same media of the Herald. Moyo realises his prefered ngwena faction is dead and buried and now wants to appear conciliatory to buy himself time to strategise. Editores never do anything at the herald without some big wig backing. Jonso is trying to atone for the slanging matches against Mutasa and mai mujuru during provincial elections. Zimbabwe be warned. I wont be surprised seeing him in the opposition soon now that his ambitions in which hinged on the ngwena faction taking over appear dead in the water.

magame - 19 December 2013

I cant find reason wafawarova's column in the herald this thursday. Is this partof the purge bcoz reason was getting too bug for his boots.

ZVOKWADI - 19 December 2013

Thanks Prof. Moyo but it's time to look at the polarising columns by people like Reason Wafawarova, Mahoso and those twins. The Herald cannot continue to base columns on people fed on conspiracy theories.

Nkosi Mambo - 19 December 2013

Prof. came back with a new agenda and following his progress thus far one cannot help but lethargically accept that maybe and only maybe he has seen the light. This Zvayi guy has been so rabid about certain individuals so much so one would be forgiven to believe that the devil himself had taken over his soul. I hope his suspension leads to some permanent disengagement.

Isidore Mutungagore - 19 December 2013

Those who live in glass houses musnt teach their children how to throw stones.Zvayi did not start today.All along he has been writing half truths and getting away with murder.He has been insulting others left, rightg and centre, and it seemed okay then.It surely was going to get to this stage or even worse had he not been checked in his tracks all because he was now hitting where it matters most.Who knows maybe he was going to release some other juicy stories.I wonder if he still has some bit of geography left in his head.Or else we will buy juice cards from him.

Tahir Iqbal - 19 December 2013

this is good Prof. Ceasar Zvayi and Munyradzi Huni are spoiled brats. they are too militant and masters of bootlicking and grandstanding! Elections have come and gone - lets rebuild Zimbabwe, even though we know who destroyed it!!

shiripinda - 19 December 2013

The geography teacher is gone.

Maita Manyuka - 19 December 2013

Ever since Prof was appointed to be minister he has well, he is transformed..keep it up Jonah whats left is to fight hate speech in all our media. ONE LOVE ZIMBABWE!!!

Brigadier Numero - 19 December 2013

we wait for the day when zimbabwe will be one again...these comments from high profile people in the land give us hope. like the late Tongayi Moyo's says...Tikabata zimbabwe inokura iyi....hatidi kupondana, hatidi kutukana....pamberi nekubatana zvemashuwa kwete kuparidza zvino isu tichita izvo!!!

TaTanga - 19 December 2013

I believe whoever had other qualifications, lets include them to have a complete picture. If we have issues, lets raise them with the those who can answer, the board of Zimpapers. Lets remember that whoever is a breadwinner and there are living beings who will be adversely affected the move. If there is a change in whatever, lets see proper procedures being followed.

tawanda - 19 December 2013

Vana mafikizolo vanonyanya kubva vaita sokunge ndivo vakatanga nemusangano iye wazuro uno. Herald ranga ronetsa kuverenga better ayendeeeeeeee.

mhofu - 19 December 2013

Its too early to praise Jonso. On this one aratidza kuti murume and he means business. Zwayi anga anyanya kubvotomoka. The guy thought kuti ndeye Herald yacho. Good riddance prof

Bruno - 19 December 2013

Its all about patron-client relations collapsing and I am sure Zvayi understand that everything has an end. A house built on sand will definitely fall when the rains and winds become too strong to hold on. Prof is not bettering anything for the nation by suspending Zvayi, but simply playing his own political cards appropriately for the now! Let those who have ears to hear hear!

XX - 19 December 2013

Ceaser has achekereswa...... he is a pawn in the game.

james - 19 December 2013

Clever Zanu PF. Allow grand theft of national resources. Expose a high profile figure like Gono. Have a high profile MDC leader represent him. Release him and next time people complain about thiefs in Zanu PF, they will say they tried to arrest "them" but how can they with MDC setting them free at the courts! Ha ha ha.

FUNGA FUTI - 19 December 2013

Stupid Jona who do you think you can fool? Day in day out the herald and zbc write lies and broadcast lies about Tsangirai and other prominent people who are not zanu but nothing happens .Now they write about Gono and you spring to defend him. Is Gono more zimbabwean . Let the journalists do thier job without fear or farvour.

Dibulaanyika - 19 December 2013

I cant believe im warming up to jonathan moyo. Lets give him credit this proff. Since he was appointed last month he is doing positive things for the country.

MAFIOS - 19 December 2013

When he is not deliberately lying, Not many people can match him. In his league, when he is at his best, I put Robert Mugabe, the Late Learnmore Jongwe...cant think of any other

Gudo Guru - 19 December 2013

I thik i like this new Professor. He is now progressive. Thanks for rebranding yourself to a patriot

Papa Action - 19 December 2013

Give unto Ceaser what belongs to Ceaser......kumusha

Papa Action - 19 December 2013

Zvayi single-handedly abused his journalistic position to spew hate and polarize Zimbabwe. I read all his Herald articles. Elsewhere pple are prosecuted for stuff like that. This chap should never be allowed anywhere near a newspaper. This was too much even by Zanu standards. Imagine journalists being awarded Benz cars and farms? This country is so screwed it's a perfect example of a Banana republic. Remember anaSharuko, mbavha. They are still there at Herald. Regai zviende

Moe - 19 December 2013

This Prof means business - showing he has balls and is not afraid to do what he believes is right. I am afraid if we have a few Ministers with balls like him, I may actually not only start warming up to him, but to ZPF. Way to go Prof. I wont shed a tear for this Zwayi pig - got what he deserves. His nauseating drivel was not impressing anyone.

skuzapo - 20 December 2013

Yes Good riddance Moyo,this Zwayi is an idiot,bloody bastard.

josefa chinotimba - 20 December 2013

I smell a dead rat. Musorodamba/ rocket scientist is as cunning as a fox. Something is brewing I tell you. Shiri hayichinji muririro wayo. Muchandibvunza rimwe zuva vabiyangu.

Kachembere kekwaChivi - 20 December 2013

Professor Jonathan Moyo, Come to ZINWA and sack all managers. They are busy looting authority resources, while employees are living in poverty.

Zinwa Worker - 20 December 2013

ngaende nagaende nekuti iiii???????

mdara - 20 December 2013

I have no sympathy for Ceasar just like Happison they are bastards

Apostle - 20 December 2013

Of course it is Biti's right to defend who he wants, but how will Tendai Biti ever standup and accuse Zanu PF of corruption when he is willing to turn a blind eye and defend in the supreme court one of the biggest suspect of the last decade? This is another case of MDC shooting themselves in the foot. Because it is your right doesn't make it right!

simba - 20 December 2013

Kudzinga Zvayi ega ndokudii,ko huori hwazara paZimpapers murikuti kudii nahwo.Is Zimpapers now Manicaland papers.Dzingai kubva kuna CEO first kana muchida kuti pagadzirike.Mbavha dzega idzi.Izvozvi makatenga chisecond hand machine chiri kubharangizha pepa rose monyepera nyika yose kuti ibrand new machine, murikuzviitirei zvekudyira hurumende mari masikati machena.Gvt must investigate events at Zimpapers.ZvaZwayi zvitete izvi.Sei muchimhanyirira tunyaya pasina ipo paine zvikukutu.Zveku ZBC zviri kutosara pasi kunyangwe ne mari dzinohorwa dzave kutochinjwa chinjwa demo risati rasvika.Moyo mhanya vasati vavhara huori hurikumo.

alloys - 20 December 2013

This is what happens when the pilot overshoots the runway..tears all around. Calling the number 4 man in the party "dwarf in giant's robes" was not only disrepectful by any accounts but doing so without providing facts to back this up is not abusing journalistic licence it is downright dumb, period!

gutter poet - 21 December 2013

My friends poto ya kuibva .Zvayi is a symptom.As long as those who put him there and those who put those who put him there still wield power, tiri kutengeserwa dummy.Biti has his right to appear for GG and argue that "my client was not part of a corrupt,regressive and oppressive establishment that looted state resources and impoverished common people in favour of an almighty elite through the Reserve Bank and it's Governor ..... One Gono" Talk of Zimbawean hypocrisy and self before man and country interests .Jonso is the the only known quantity in the equation .He is bold, anti Shona,anti Mugabe"...... Remember he has already let it be known that number one is our biggest problem.Jonso believes Mugabe should go like everybody else in the politburo, the army,police,central committee, ZANU pf and the MDC and he is setting in motion that inevitable process by creating chaos were he can.This time it is already unstoppable because there is no money,food no Gono to print ZImdollars,no TSvangirayi to blame and no Chinese to lean on since they too have discovered that we are undependable dictators. So we'll done Jonso for the stampede and let the heard run wild. Icho

Alfanet - 21 December 2013

moyo anonanzva akananzva mugabe kusvikira mugabe amupa hwuminister , ava kunazva gono arikudei? chii china gono chakawanda chisina povo?

harare - 24 December 2013

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