Desperate lies

HARARE - During the Cold War era, a well-known Russian newspaper, Pravda, was renowned for its zealous support of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union — the same way that The Herald serves as an unashamed mouthpiece of Zanu PF, even though the local daily is supposedly a “listed” State-controlled paper.

And just like Pravda, The Herald is today a pale shadow of its former self, as the triple whammy of technological changes, rising competition and reader rejection of its lickspittle journalism have taken their toll on it — although it perseveres valiantly as an indefatigable Zanu PF mouthpiece.

Just as it did in Rhodesia during Ian Smith's time,  albeit with little obvious success and ever diminishing propaganda returns.

Which makes it all the more sadder that Zimbabweans should hold the newspaper in such palpable disdain, at a time that this once grande dame of the country's media should be enjoying iconic status given its long tenure, albeit a government-protected one, in the market.

SEEN THE LIGHT: The State controlled and run paper finally joined the Daily News in highlighting that the country's economy has gone to the dogs. Decades of misrule and mismanagement have seen Zimbabwe reduced to a basket case as aptly captured by The Herald.

In addition to spewing its stock-in-trade Zanu PF propaganda, day in and day out, its other speciality is bashing the country's independent media and viciously attacking any and all the critics of President Robert Mugabe and the ruling party.

Then again, what else would a lickspittle newspaper such as The Herald write about in a country that is perilously close to becoming a failed State due to its leaders’ mismanagement, if not to savage critics of Zanu PF’s well-documented gross misrule of the past 35 years?

The lapdog Zanu PF paper did not disappoint yesterday, carrying another familiar frontal attack on the Daily News — the country’s popular private daily that Mugabe’s government shut down violently and unjustly in September 2003, for nearly eight years, for the crime of telling it like it is, without fear or favour, as our motto goes.

And as would be expected from The Herald, the usual cast of alleged media analysts and pseudo-academics — in effect hired guns and rabid Zanu PF apparatchiks — were trotted out to carry out the poor hatchet job on the Daily News.

Our crime this time was that we dared to carry a legitimate and well-sourced story regarding Mugabe’s capacity to continue as leader of this seemingly cursed country, now sadly viewed as the second worst-performing economy in Africa.

The Herald ‘s latest lies will not surprise anybody. When Mugabe fell down at Harare International Airport recently, the propaganda newspaper claimed that he did not fall. They said he broke the fall but Mugabe himself put them to shame when he confirmed the fall and actually revealed that he falls regularly at his mansion. He argued that everyone falls at some point.

And on the day that The Herald  attacked the Daily News, it led its own business section with a telling story to the effect that “(Zimbabwe’s) February inflation points to dying economy” — without any sense of shame or irony!

What, dear Pravda, is the real cause of the death of our once vibrant economy — we ask with tears in our eyes?

As we have noted many times before, Zimbabwe’s lickspittle State media fully embody the proverbial principle of “seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil” — and never ever dare to question their master’s voice. And because we choose to take our watchdog role seriously, all the now familiar insults, as well as the well-worn and disgraceful fabrications are crassly directed at us.

These range from we are “anti-Zimbabwe” or “anti-Mugabe” (lol); we are the lunatic fringe or opposition media; we are Western-sponsored; and under-fire former vice president Joice Mujuru has bought a non-existent 10 percent shareholding in our newspaper.

It is frankly disgusting the extent to which this regime and its minions will abuse State apparatus, lie so blatantly and behave so thuggishly in their bid to extend Zanu PF’s misrule. Of course, the ramifications of the government’s malicious attacks and egregiously false claims against us, including those by controversial First Lady Grace Mugabe that Mujuru supposedly owns a 10 percent stake in the Daily News, are ominous.

Indeed, police — clearly moving at the behest of “Calamity Grace” — obtained a court order last December, authorising them to storm and seize key documents pertaining to the ownership of our newspaper; information that is easily obtainable from the Registrar of Companies and from the Zimbabwe Media Commission.

Even more surprising, a casual perusal of the warrant of seizure itself suggested that they already had this information anyway, rendering their mission wholly suspect.

Then one remembers that our newspaper and its staff have operated under incessant threats and pressure from Zanu PF since it came back from its unjust closure by Mugabe’s government in late March 2011 — including being banned from circulating in certain parts of the country and from covering some State functions.

Before our forced closure, our staff were harassed and imprisoned willy-nilly. When this did not yield the desired results, our printing press was completely destroyed in a barbaric bombing in January 2001 — that was widely believed to have been carried out by State agents who were never brought to book for the dastardly act. And finally, the government contrived to shut down the Daily News violently and unjustly in September 2003, after it enacted a legal instrument solely for this morbid purpose. The paper was only able to return to the market in late March 2011.

Sadly, history has recorded that some of the worst excesses of Zanu PF’s misrule occurred around the time that the Daily News was out of circulation — including Operation Murambatsvina, a record hyperinflation and the vengeful murders of opposition supporters that followed Mugabe’s stunning loss to Morgan Tsvangirai in the disputed 2008 elections.

The ongoing attacks and harassment directed at us are thus intended to silence us, so that the hyenas in power can continue to loot, rape and pillage the country with reckless abandon — without fear of ever being exposed.

That won’t happen on our watch. We promise.

And yes, the authors of the country’s current anarchy will come to love the Daily News too one day — just as have those myriad Zanu PF bigwigs who used to hate us with a passion but now love us to bits after they were brutally purged by the “revolutionary party”!

Comments (23)

Herald ine ngozi veduwee. They are the biggest liars in the world but shamefully they want to point fingers at others. Herald has gone to the dogs.

misheck Mutomba - 18 March 2015

Why dont you recognise that you the Pravda of the opposition? you see nothing gud in and about this country. The good thing is that there are very few that think like you. You are abusing your access to a newspaper page! shame on you and you will die a disappointed person.

godfrey gudo - 18 March 2015

Have we forgotten that during the Smith era, the Herald regularly left blank columns in protest whenever the RF thought police censored stories or opinions? It was the Rhodesia TV and radio that turned your stomach.

John Banda - 18 March 2015

Hayibo bazukulu bami, when all has been said and done, where is this country going? you busy throwing accusations to each other, yet the ground you standing on is melting, idiots!!!!!

UNCLE REAL - 18 March 2015

@reason I think kana newewo you are just as bad we are in March not Feb.

matombo - 18 March 2015

reason nabanda dzokerai kumalawi manzwa .siyanai nezimbabwe

GONDO - 18 March 2015

is it possible kuti Zanu ingabve pachigaro peacefully? i wonder.

jojo - 18 March 2015

the truth is that the dailynews gives coverage to both sides. they are a private newspaper if they choose to support the opposition who cares. But the HERALD IS A STATE PAPER WHICH SHOULD GIVE COVERAGE TO ALL. I t is funded by taxpayers money.

dovi - 18 March 2015

Herald should be privatized if ever we get into a democratic dispensation. There is no need for government to own newspapers. It only uses the paper for nefarious means and to suppress freedom of expression and association.

connie - 18 March 2015

When Zimbabwe is eventually liberated what will happen to the Herald's editors?

connie - 18 March 2015

ndokukwaturayi vafana moti ndakagwira matoto ini.

mashotopiyana - 18 March 2015

both publications are biased towards either of the factions within zanu. whoever has been kicked the hardest cries foul. but it is public knowledge that both have the same agenda. herald however, has a culture of propaganda that spans way back to the smith era. it has always been a govmnt tool. it has become worse under the tanure of jona as info minister. that is definitly putting off some zanu supporters. herald, has the potential to impress zimbos only if it becomes fair in its coverage than being used as it is.

taurai - 18 March 2015

So Daily News also buy the Herald papers. I will now start buying the Herald. I had stopped thinking that people don't like propaganda maybe there is value in reading the Herald after all.

Cde Boycott - 18 March 2015

Because we are being led by a dying president, we have a dying economy! What can a dying person do to make aneconmy like this lift itself from the deathbed? the 2 are dying together and the president has no dying shame, which in itself is worrying.

Donato - 18 March 2015

After Mugabe era, the staff at Herald should be taken in for counseling and rehabilitation process and zanu pf must foot the bill. Infact they should sue Zanu pf for mental break down and physcology torture. Imagine since 2000 day in day out till to date living a lie. Thats why they wrote unusual things "Dying economy" Under Mugabe there is no dying economy. Its now mental breakdown within staff a herald. I personally forgive these people at herald.

X-MAN IV - 18 March 2015

What do you expect from a dementiated geriatric instructed by a filthy, selfish and evil whore?

fungai - 18 March 2015

The Lord God wants only one thing. The truth! I stopped buying the Herald many, many years ago. But this article is the truth. well done for publishing it. There may be hope for you yet. But today I see someone is in trouble to publishing that article. And that's why Zimbabwe lies in ruins. because we live a lie. I strongly urge ZPF to begin to open up to the truth. This can only strengthen our nation as God will NEVER tolerate a lie. Jesus said that all lies come from the father of all lies: the devil. When you speak, write think or live the TRUTH you live Jesus Christ as He is the Truth. "I am the Way, the Truth..." Come on Zimbabwe. Lies destroy! truth brings life!

TruthBTold - 19 March 2015

Maybe Daily News has a point. But it still beats me how the Herald sells faster than the Daily News.

machakachaka - 19 March 2015

Chimbondiudza kuti zvaitika rinhi? Nguvai? Kupi? Uye ndivanani vazviita? Zvaita sei? Sei wazvinyora? Kuti tizondii nazvo? Ndidzo dzinonzi news idzozdo mwana wamai? Thats why your paper is not sold. Vanhu havachada kunzwa nyaya dzeZim politics, because it a shame on us. kuti mwana anotaura zvababa namai vakarambana nekuda kwehupombwe, baba vakarara namainini, mai vakazorara nababa mukuru. No one would want to say such news unless you are an illegitimate child. you are killing your carrier my dear.

kine - 19 March 2015

Even Jonah himself resorted to the Daily News during his "orphan" days!

Johno - 19 March 2015

By the way, Pravda (The Herald) has just suspended one of its editors for publishing the well know truth that the Zimbabwean economy is dying! Kunzima! It boggles the mind.

Khumalo - 19 March 2015

The man is old.Give him time to rest you Zanu Pf guys

Chemical Solution - 19 March 2015

Zimbabwe,our beloved country .Leadership yedu ihope nerufu zvakasangana.

mkanya - 19 March 2015

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