Moyo wobbles

HARARE - There is no argument that Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo started well when he was appointed to this important, but difficult portfolio soon after Zimbabwe’s disputed elections in 2013.

But it appears as if the more Zanu PF’s ugly factional and succession wars escalate, the more many ruling party bigwigs are showing visible strain from these brutal ructions — with Moyo increasingly speaking erratically regarding the critical matters of freedom of expression and that of the media.

Moyo made the latest of his recent gaffes on Friday when he addressed journalists at the Bulawayo Press Club, where he said that members of the Central Intelligence Organisation, who recently forced photographers from the private media to delete pictures of President Robert Mugabe falling at the airport, were right to do so.

He also warned that in future the cameras of journalists working legally in such situations could be confiscated and that the private media could be banned altogether from attending some government functions — not that the latter threat is anything new, as it is already happening in many situations with regard to the Daily News.

What will surprise many Zimbabweans is that although Moyo is mulling taking these drastic measures, he has over the past few days been playing down — both in his personal capacity and via lickspittle State media — the very incident (Mugabe’s mortifying fall) that he is now using as justification for the Stone Age media measures that he is thinking about loudly.

This is all unfortunate, because as already pointed above, Moyo had started very well in his portfolio: in fact going to the laudable extent of openly fighting for the rights of journalists and the scrapping of archaic criminal defamation laws from the statute books at a time other Zanu PF bigwigs were agitating for the hammering of the media.

What will also perplex many Zimbabweans is why he would now support the deletion of pictures and video material of a president breaking his fall, as Moyo has argued, as if this in any way compromises the health, safety and security of the country’s long-ruling leader.

But even more importantly, has the minister stopped to consider what the implications of taking such backward measures would be for our long-suffering country, as well as for Mugabe, ostensibly in whose interest Moyo is contemplating the dubious media management policies.

It would be tragic, not just for the media, but also for Mugabe, Zanu PF and Zimbabwe as a whole, if the country were to go back to the era of the early 2000s when the ruling party ill-advisedly introduced and crassly-implemented the misnamed and draconian Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, that created such pain and anarchy for all concerned.

It would also mean that the setting up of the costly Information Media Panel of Inquiry by Moyo was an exercise in futility. That would be very sad indeed.

    Comments (7)

    Do you realise, this is the man who earned himself the title "flip-flop politition". He earned that title from lack of dignity, consistency, common sense and originality. He is a greedy and a cheap liar. Mind you, he is not alone in this clique. This is Zanu-PF at best. That is why we, Zimbabwe, are a failed state. In this government we have doctors, doctorates, professors, and you name it. That is bunch of primates in suites who can not organise a tea party in a cafeteria. By the way this is the author of Zim Asset Stripping Program. Have you ever investigated to find out who organised the Daily News Printing Press to be bombed in Southerton Industrial sites? Remember, he was the minister of information. I would not put it past him. Professor, my foot!

    Mbareboy - 16 February 2015

    This is Moyo doing what basically is his vile and disgusting nature, what truly defines him and his dna. You must not judge him on account of what he strains to do.

    Zibusiso - 18 February 2015

    Soon Mugabe will be history ,prepare to witness the worst chaos within Zanu ranks after Mugabe's departure. It will be dog eat dog-and with that will come Zimbabwe's salvation. Forget GRACE,MUNANGAGWA AND THE LIKES OF JONATHAN. THESE WILL BE REFUGEES SOMOWHERE IN THE FAR EAST. I do not wish the President dead but meat once rotten can never be successfully refregerated. He is old and it is a fact-no one will be surprised if he died anytime now.

    Referee - 18 February 2015

    jonathan moyo should face instant justice because he has played us for quite some time

    able weathers - 18 February 2015

    jonathan moyo is a shameless man, he can sell his own mother for a couple thousand green bucks, he has no self respect no backbone and is a 2timing good for nothing politician who recruited Alarm Mpofu an openly gay zimbabwean living in south africa to head ZBC for as yet unexplained reasons

    Harare - 19 February 2015

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