Moyo walking the talk

HARARE - It is a historical fact that the Daily News had a frosty relationship with Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo, prior to our forced and unjust shutting down in September 2003, for eight long years, by President Robert Mugabe’s government.

To that extent, there was, understandably, some trepidation within independent media circles when Moyo came back to lead the industry’s line ministry following Zanu PF’s disputed election victory last year.

But to be fair on the minister, and notwithstanding this ugly history above, he has been a breath of fresh air, where most of his Cabinet colleagues are identified with mediocrity, ineptitude and sleaze.

Typical of his new and refreshing style, he moved swiftly on Monday to condemn powerful interests that use the police, and abuse the justice system to unnecessarily harass journalists.

His statement followed the arrest of the Group Editor of the Daily News, Stanley Gama, and senior writer, Fungi Kwaramba, at the instigation of controversial businessman Kamal Khalfan of Oman.

“The idea that powerful interests or individuals in our society find it easy to invoke criminal defamation against the media using the police is not only unconstitutional, it is also not in the public interest not least because the poor never ever invoke criminal discrimination against anyone.

“This does not mean anyone has a right to lie, but that defamation is better handled through civil and not criminal litigation in accordance with our new Constitution which in section 63(5) makes clear that freedom of expression and freedom of the media do not include malicious injury to a person’s reputation or dignity”.

“Accordingly, I hope constitutionality will prevail and that therefore the matter in question will not go beyond the inconveniences already suffered by all those concerned (Gama and Kwaramba),” Moyo rebuked.

We can only say hear, hear.

It is most laudable that Moyo continues not only to send consistent and powerful messages that he wants to work well with the entire media industry, but that he is also willing to walk his talk.

As we have commented before, we are not naive to think that we will always see eye-to-eye with the minister, the government and the ruling Zanu PF party, and indeed should in fact never do so if the interests of democracy are to be served optimally.

But to not recognise the good that Moyo is doing would be churlish and injudicious.

We are also hopeful that Moyo’s new spirit of respect for the important, respective roles of the government and the fourth estate will become a permanent feature of the industry’s relationship with the State as a whole — which would be good for our democracy.

Comments (22)

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maintenance solutions - 9 April 2014

I've been critical of Jonathan for a long time, but I too am beginning to warm up to this fellow. In fact, at this moment in our troubled nation's life we need more people like him.

Khetai - 9 April 2014

I have since forgiven Jonathan Moyo. He is certainly a new breed. He is not a donkey like his colleagues in ZANU PF. I wish we had more of him. Vote Jonathan Moyo for President 2018

dick mboko - 9 April 2014

i like people who change, but for me moyo has still to show me the fruit that indication of true repentance

see - 9 April 2014

Indeed Professor Moyo has of late been doing what we would expect of all the other Ministers, and that is to do their job, from exposing salarygate scandals and taking action to speaking out on corruption. AIPPA and POSA are next on his list the way I see it.

Dr Know - 9 April 2014

Can you imagine the big difference it would make had we ten people like Jonathan Moyo in ZANU and another ten like Tendai Biti in MDC. People who are not afraid to call a spade a spade, not a big spoon just to please someone at the expense of the masses.

Sinikiwe Shumba - 9 April 2014

camarada j.moyo....

matica - 10 April 2014

Please give credit where it is due. Minister Moyo is doing a good job. He is fearless & does not hate anyone for no apparent reason

shungurudzai - 10 April 2014

True I had come to hate Jonathan Moyo with a passion but he is beginning to be his own man now and hope he keeps it up.

Maita Manyuka - 10 April 2014

Jonathan Moyo is a hero to send consistent and powerful messages that he wants to work well with the entire nation, parastatals and exposing or fraudlent activities undercoverd by our big chefs. It is not good to address politics in the administering of Zimbabwe economy. It is high time the big bosses fulfil their electoral promises and dig deeper to recover the economy

Ngodza Power - 10 April 2014

Our interest - we are unequivocal about this - lies in the kind, quality and depth of the country's democracy, not the personalities and political parties that operate within our body politic per se. It is in this vein, that we have viewed the blood-letting within the MDC very dimly, guided by one important philosophy; that a united, strong and effective MDC is good for both Zanu PF and our beautiful country. Indeed, only complete dullards do not appreciate the fact that leading countries, whose democracies and economies are thriving and work for the good of all their citizens, also tend to have strong ruling and opposition parties. This is why we also continue to argue that our nascent democracy is the biggest loser as the madness within the MDC rages on: because Zimbabwe has never needed a stronger opposition than now - a time of worsening economic problems that portend the calamitous crisis of 2008.

Ngodza Power - 10 April 2014

I too found these words profound @Ngodza Power.

KM - 10 April 2014

Proffessor for President come 2018

protestor - 10 April 2014

HAPANA HAPANA JONA MUTENGESI.....BEWARE OF HIM......KUMASVINGO HATIDI KUMUONA

wezhira - 10 April 2014

Losing elections in the home town has taught Jonso how to behave like a normal human being. Now he is a good leader

Wings of change - 10 April 2014

Somehow I also agree that the Prof is the only one working at this stage. Honestly I wouldnt mind him for president.

FlyboyX - 10 April 2014

Kukanganwa chezuro nehope. "Prof Jonso for President"? That's a joke. I agree that he's doing his work well but we all know that he's a political turncoat there4 he can't be trusted.

Taffy - 10 April 2014

apa ndopasina kana nyaya yekutaura, itotaurai zvenyu zvekutsvaga ndege yekumalaysia. jonah?

patrick kamupazanga - 10 April 2014

After his second coming following the disputed 31 july 2013 plebiscite i find prof jonso very reasonable. he is the only cabinet minister who seems to be in sync with the aspirations of the common people be it the lumpen proletariats, peasants, journalists or any other ordinary worker. he is the only minister who is taking the anti corruption crusade serioulsy, his speech to the zim accountants conference is the hallmark of a good leader. if we could have five ministers of the same calibre with the professor then zimbabwe would be somewhere. i also used to have an ad hominem stance towards jonso after he closed the daily news but now i find him quite reasonable, keep it up we want you for presidency.

Cde Churucheminzwa - 11 April 2014

If I am sick to the point of death and the devil shows sympathy and wishes me quick recovery I will not accept it. Jonathan may appear to be doing a good job but do you think Bob and ZANU PF would turn a blind eye to his actions. There is something sinister chichazokurovai makavarairwa. Watch out out he is not walking the talk for your good but for ZANU PF's

Wekumaraini - 12 April 2014

Mr Moyo has always been a workaholic and a good political leader. I have had two meetings with him running till evening. he is a man with passion for his work. I also suspect that his intention in joining Zanu has always been about inflicting change from within.

danisa tshawe - 18 April 2014

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