Blaming the messenger

HARARE - Two of the things that Zimbabwe’s political parties and their leaders have battled with over the past 35 years of the country’s independence are self-introspection and taking responsibility when things go wrong.

Indeed, in the parallel universe that our inept politicians appear to inhabit, blaming others, never confronting the real source of problems and always fumbling in the dark are the preferred methods of “running” the country.

So it was, that President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba used the platform of lickspittle State media yesterday to once again blame all of Zanu PF’s well-documented problems, including its deadly and seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars, on the country’s independent media.

For the benefit of those readers who were fortunate enough to miss the drivel, we will attempt to paraphrase this supposed senior civil servant’s perplexing views.

According to his twisted logic, when Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s supporters were swatted down after the so-called Tsholotsho Declaration in 2004; when Bhora Musango saw Mugabe lose to Morgan Tsvangirai in the disputed 2008 elections; and when former Vice President Joice Mujuru and her allies were brutally purged from the ruling party late last year, it was all because of the “machinations” of the country’s fledgling private media!

It boggles the mind.

Indeed, if this ridiculous claim did not have such grave ramifications — what with Charamba threatening to cause the enactment of a raft of new anti-private media laws — it would be cause for much banter.

For those readers who may also not know, Charamba played a leading role in the enactment of the misnamed Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa), which was crafted for the sole purpose of shutting down the Daily News unjustly in 2003. To that extent, his threats ought to be taken seriously.

But just as Charamba was ranting in the lapdog Sunday Mail at the weekend, three senior officials from Mashonaland Central were being expelled from the post-congress Zanu PF, for allegedly organising an event attended by Mnangagwa in the province the previous weekend.

And on Thursday, controversial First Lady Grace Mugabe was very clear about factionalism in the ruling party when she addressed her latest rally in Manicaland.

Before that, her husband had frothed at the mouth and warned factionalists in his bitterly-divided party countless times about the negative consequences of the scourge, with lickspittle State media reporting on this enthusiastically and ad nauseum.

It is thus interesting to note that Charamba is also now saying that the nonagenarian is not losing any sleep over Zanu PF’s worsening factionalism, which completely contradicts the Information permanent secretary’s illogical hypothesis that the private media are stirring problems in the ruling party.

The fact is that Charamba’s rants betray the post-congress Zanu PF’s anxiety about its seemingly unstoppable factional and succession wars, and the real possibility that these wars could see the ruling party being turfed out of power in the 2018 elections.

It also represents yet another massive and shameless assault on the country’s nascent democracy by Zanu PF and its apparatchiks.

The crime that newspapers such as the Daily News are committing in the eyes of Zanu PF hardliners and their State media lackeys is that we continue to tell it like it is, without fear or favour, as our motto goes.

This has seen all the now familiar and disgraceful fabrications that are routinely thrown at us — ranging from claims that we are supposedly opposition media and, in our specific case, the egregious lie by Grace that Mujuru supposedly owns 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, including publicly-owned media to lie so blatantly in their desperate bid to extend their dying kleptocracy.

But let no one be fooled: there is method to all this madness.

It is intended to silence the independent media so that the hyenas in power can continue to loot, rape and pillage the country with reckless abandon — without fear of ever being exposed.

This is the reason why Charamba and his handlers will not say a word about State media, their role in Zimbabwean politics over the past 35 years, and how they have covered and abetted the ruling party’s ineptitude and internal ructions since 1980.

They want “patriotic media” which ignores the horrific levels of corruption and incompetence that has turned Zimbabwe from a regional bread basket to a much derided basket case in three short decades.

While the media are certainly not above reproach, the incontrovertible truth is that the most problematic areas of Zimbabwean media have always been those in which Zanu PF and the government have direct control — the ZBC, The Herald, the Chronicle and the Sunday Mail!

Surely this is not rocket science Comrade Charamba, even when one analyses the coverage of Zanu PF’s factional and succession wars?

Comments (1)

This useless regime is reeling, and it will do anything to divert people's attention from the dying economy, its useless fights, the lack of jobs, the hospitals that have become mortuaries, the hunger eating the nation, the collapsing industries and infrastructure etc etc etc. The good news is that the end is nigh for them. Nomakanjani!

Khumalo - 12 October 2015

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