Calm down Geoff, in your own interest

HARARE - State media correspondent and failed politician Geoff Nyarota, has been very busy over the past few weeks launching wave after wave of unprovoked attacks on the country’s private media in general, and on the Daily News in particular.

Readers who may be familiar with the fact that Nyarota was the founding editor of the Daily News will have found it curious that I referred to him as a State media correspondent in my introduction, rather than a former newsroom head of this publication.

Well, the reason for this is quite simple really. At the time of our re-launch in March 2011 — after nearly eight years of our forced and unjust closure by President Robert Mugabe’s government — Nyarota took umbrage to the fact that my predecessor stated this seemingly innocuous fact in the re-launch edition.

Without boring readers to death with details of this inane issue, Nyarota also stated that he did not wish to be associated with the Daily News ever, as he thought that this would be tantamount to the newspaper riding on his larger-than-life (my words) name.

When he subsequently took us to the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) about this, we duly gave an undertaking that we were happy to make his name a swear word in our newsroom, as per his wish.

Except that that is not his wish.

When it suits him, he is very happy to parade himself as a former editor of this newspaper, and to tell all who care to listen to him, how successful he was as the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily News.

But mostly, when he talks about the newspaper it is to attack us for one thing or the other — including his supposed dismissal from the newspaper in 2010, even as he confusingly says he does not want to identify with us at the same time. And sometimes his rants are about our alleged lack of journalistic ethics and commercial success.

Incidentally, and I’m only putting this out there because he has invited this upon himself by writing about it in the State media, even as the courts are still adjudicating the matter:

The Labour Court recently threw out, with costs, his spurious claims that ANZ ever wanted to employ him beyond a temporary consultancy when it assisted him, at his express request, to come back from the US to Zimbabwe in 2010.

In tackling Nyarota, I’m well aware of the age-old adage that it is not a productive endeavour to try and out-piss a skunk — particularly one that is very bitter and outrageously malicious, as he is.

But at some point, enough does become enough, and Nyarota has made his bed and must now lie in it. Indeed, I’m very happy to tackle him tit for tat from now onwards, if that is what he wants.

Of course, I wish I didn’t have to pen this kind of opinion, as he should be basking in the glory of his achievements, and be remembered as fondly, by those who came after him, as the likes of Willie Musarurwa are.

Regrettably, he oftentimes allows his impulsive nature to repeatedly get the better of him, thereby getting into wholly unnecessary brawls with all manner of varying constituencies that have the net effect of eroding whatever journalistic standing that he may feel entitled to.

Nyarota, the danger is that at some point, as is beginning to happen now with worrying regularity, you overplay your hand and force otherwise decent people to come out and confront you in the public domain that you are abusing, to your detriment.

After all, lies have short legs, and frankly, Nyarota is the one with everything to lose in his skirmish with ANZ. I know this and he probably does as well, expect that his big, but fragile ego won’t allow him to admit to this easily.

I will leave this discourse here, for now.

It is little wonder that a miffed colleague surmised last week that Nyarota may be suffering from narcissistic personality disorder — a very real illness where so-afflicted people are excessively pre-occupied with themselves, power, prestige and vanity, and therefore are unable to see the destructive damage that they are causing to themselves and others.

According to Wikipedia, people with narcissistic personality disorder are characterised by exaggerated feelings of self-importance; are pre-occupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power and brilliance; believe that they are “special” and unique; have an acute sense of entitlement; and demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behaviour.

“Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others, when in reality they have a fragile self-esteem, cannot handle criticism, and often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth.

“Comments and criticisms about others are vicious from sufferers of NPD, in an attempt to boost their own poor self-esteem,” Wikipedia says.

While I’m certainly not qualified to validate other people’s mental well-being, it surely can’t harm Geoff if he sought help about whether he fits this profile — because NPD left unattended for too long can become very problematic.

Lest we forget! Nyarota’s big ego mistakenly fooled him into believing that he was so popular he could walk into the MDC and become their Member of Parliament for Makoni South during the 2013 elections.

But he was resoundingly rejected in primary elections where he garnered a paltry 44 votes against Pishai Muchauraya’s emphatic 447.

I’m not sure whether he is still an MDC member or he is now concentrating on the hatchet jobs against the private media.

But some of us are aware of how he has become a propagandist against the private media and again this issue shall be dealt with in due course.

For the record, the success or otherwise of the Daily News has never been and will not be dependent on some perceived beneficial association with a Nyarota or a Gama.

Readers and advertisers of the newspaper, as is the case with other commercial publishing enterprises everywhere around the world, are the ones who determine its success.

Nearly five years after our re-launch, we are still here and thriving to the utter pain of our detractors.

And a newspaper doesn’t require the archaic 60 percent to 40 percent advertising split that obtained in the dinosaur age to be successful, as you erroneously seem to believe.

This is 2015 and media business models have changed.

And now to the issue of ethics, which has seen Nyarota labelling only the private media as unethical.

This is bizarre coming from Nyarota, because history has it that he holds the record for the worst kind of unethical journalism, which I suggest should be a case study for all media students on HOW NOT TO WRITE A STORY.

Only a fool can believe Nyarota on ethics as he commissioned a fictitious story about a non-existent beheading of an MDC supporter in 2002.

The story reads like fiction but it was turned into a true story by Nyarota and what is particularly shocking is that the source of the story, who claimed that his wife was beheaded by Zanu PF thugs as her kids watched, was accommodated for two days in a hotel on the orders of Nyarota and was assigned a driver who would take him wherever he wished.

Nyarota believed the man’s account and did not bother to do the basics — of checking facts on the ground to establish if the man was telling the truth.

Part of the story read: “Two young girls, aged ten and 17, watched in horror as their mother was murdered brutally by having her head chopped off at the neck. Brandina Tadyanemhandu, 53, was butchered inside her hut in Magunje on Sunday by about 20 youths, who were suspected to be Zanu PF supporters.”

God have mercy, it was all lies.

Even a primary school aspiring journalist would have bothered to check facts first before publishing. And as it turned out, there was no such beheading — talk of ethics the Nyarota way.

And Nyarota was editor of the Chronicle in Bulawayo when the newspaper wrote a comment siding with the Fifth Brigade, which massacred more than 20 000 civilians in the Matabeleland and Midlands provinces.

What’s ethical about this mass murder, Mr Nyarota?

Comments (31)

Hey, Mr Nyarota may have bitten more than he can chew here.

Mercy - 5 November 2015

Tindee!! Mudslinging in the media. Let those who dwell in glass houses not provoke others by throwing stones.

Kunda Kinde - 5 November 2015

Scratch my back and I will scratch yours.You are only individuals mind you, who have a profession to protect.Be professionals.Politics is a voluntary job but journalism is an ethical job.Am not a journalist but I feel bad for these guys.

Nkululeko - 5 November 2015

I was confused by Mr Nyarota when he appeared on Oscar Pambuka's programme on zbc seemingly attacking a lecturer at the Polytech and at the same time not as balanced as i thought he was. I have read his books and i am still looking for the other i read once. What has happened to a very reasonable man i wonder.Money? Ego?

chigariro - 5 November 2015

aah shame on you nyarota! attacking a newspaper and others you were not sleeping trying to develop,you really a psychopath.and remember you cant do anything to appease zanu pf if that is you looking for.

tsviriyo - 5 November 2015

Nyarota - money cannot only take so far. There are places where money cannot take you.

Inyika - 5 November 2015

The DESPOT knows exactly why targeted sanction were applied against his empire of criminals. His cabal has made no efforts to align to the norms of the civilized world. He is emboldened by his endless vitriolic attacks on whites draws no criticism from the west. Sanctions must stay – in fact they need to be widened It is a pity that certain shameless European countries now want to aid and abet the Zanu pf Criminal Enterprise.

Muntmato Mutevedzi - 5 November 2015

this Nyarota has mental issues, he is the most pathetic newsman I have ever met. After getting few dirty American dollars from Charamba he has turned overnight into number one private media butcher.

nyarai - 5 November 2015

Well some of us know this guy he is so clumsy and always fails in what ever he tries so normal people can not take him serious at all . Right now he is machayinyoka and out of job so he can do anything for a living you see including ku sekesana ne zanu so that they put him back as herald editor typical of a desperate muntu . but hey baba you have soiled yourself just leave our paper the daily news alone and keep on uhlekisana le zanu yakho leyo .

Diibulaanyika - 5 November 2015

Geoff Nyarota has other problems. He needs a job and he is eyeing the Zimpapers stable for one. Pity Jonathan Moyo was moved. He thought this was the man to give him a job there but this was not to be. His one story life, Willowvale was an inside Zanu-PF job to get rid of the likes of Moris Nyagumbo, Enos Nkala and the like. Look at where his single source, Obert Mhofu has ascended to. Geoff can do anything for sustenance. He was fired from Zimpapers, fired from The Financial Gazette by Elias Rusike, fired from the paper he helped launch, The Daily Mail. What is he good for? The problem with Geoff is he becomes the story in every paper he edits. Which is how NOT to be an editor. He went to town about a supposed assassin who was sent by CIO to kill him but changed his mind for inexplicable reason. Oh, we are supposed to believe that. He has to be real. Incidentally, he never want to refer to his real journalistic beginnings: as former President Canaan Banana's faithful assistant and spokesman. He was all over telling us thus when he was appointed to the various posts BEFORE Banana fell foul of the law! And he told us then that he was born in 1948. Suddenly in all his current he claims to have been born three years later. Hey, Geoff. What's happening here?

Kunta Kinte - 5 November 2015

The story of beheading, was presided by Maruziva and Bill Saidi to the best of my knowledge and William Bango not to mention Pedzisai Ruhanya and Lylod Mudiwa. We all know this was a set up and Mr Gama you can't claim you have not written a false story in your career. Nyarota suffered the pain because he was the editor at the time. I do not personally think Mr Gama you can stand toe to toe with Nyati on this one. That said, I worked with Nyati and the one point you have nailed here is his Narcisistic behavior. You just need to check the way he walks. But overal, that man just got a nose for scandalous news, he is not a scandal on two feet like some editors we have these days. I rest my case

Prezzy - 5 November 2015

Nyarata has found his match he is a disaster that old man, and he cant compete with younger journalists. Nyarota's big ego makes him want to compete with younger journos but he cant match them. Gama has hit the nail on the head. We all that he is being used by the system because of money. While he was still working, Nyarota enjoyed flying so much that he ended up forgetting to buy himself a simple house. So for him to survive, he has to feed with the corrupt at Zanu PF. But the nation will wait for him for his role in the Gukurahundi murders because he clearly incited the Fifth Brigade just like the Journalists in Rwanda who incited that Genocide. Nyarota can go and jump in the Zambezi river but apa abatwa maparts

Chikonas - 5 November 2015

Gama, this personal attack on Nyati is unwarranted, you know for a fact that the real Daily News we launched in 1999 remains miles ahead of the trash of a newspaper you are now presiding over. Nyati might have his issues but for you to dedicate an entire column to attack him is unwarranteed, unprofessional and career suicide (you never know where you will be knocking for a job soon!). Nyati is definitely arrogant but I have great respect for him, the great sacrifices he made in 1999 when we could barely afford salaries when Associate Newspapers pulled out. We were driven by a common passion for "telling truth like it is".

Chasura - 5 November 2015

Gama you are spot on on this grossly overrated bully. I worked with him both at Zimpapers and at the Daily News and he was an absolute disaster. No wonder he has set national editorial records for getting fired everywhere he has worked.

Kevin - 5 November 2015

Chasura must be either Nyarota himself or one of his side kicks who used to be his spy at the Daily News. The fact remains, Nyarota did not achieve anything at the Daily News, never. He did not even break one big story. His only claim to fame is the Willowgate Scandal which he was given by Chedumbu Obert. In any case, it is the reporters not him who wrote the story. Actually, what is known about Nyarota at the Chronicle is that he incited the Fifth Brigade to kill innocent people like Gama correctly pointed out

Mtulisi - 5 November 2015

I enjoyed reading this story for one reason. Comments have shown people are itching for real issues tho its a matter of fact the story is not an issue. Stan we are tired of People First news everyday up your scale. I remember Geoff's paper was more interesting than the current Dailynews. Maybe it was because of the time it was launched which made it a paper of choice.

KK - 5 November 2015

Nyarota's daily news was a marvel to read and he (Nyarota)has all the qualitis of a journalist.IN miss him at Daily news not this half baked Gama's daily news.For your own information Nyarota has a family to look after and he knows exactly where his bread is buttered.work hard to improve the quality of your news and leave bro Geoff alone.Who are you to tell us about his narcissistic personality disorder.Kuchengeta twumagiraji kunge mukadzi wepabarika.Haunyare!!.

jojo - 5 November 2015

Haiwawo, vanaNyarota ava ihari yofanzirofa. Akatengwa neZanu PF, Kate, ndosaka ari kurwa nemunhu wese. Zvino zvaiwana ngwarati.

Munyati - 6 November 2015

Mr Editor you have not adressed the allegations made by Nyarota instead you are only attacking his persona and character. Maybe Geoff is right after all.

simbarashe - 6 November 2015

If I was Gama I wouldn't even write one line about this attention-seeking and washed out has-been. Remember, journalism began and ended with him according to him.

Morena - 6 November 2015

you will never find an article like this in a South African newspaper. never.

sky - 6 November 2015

kutoti "According to Wikipedia, people with narcissistic personality disorder are characterised..." nxaa nda nyangadzwa ini

sky - 6 November 2015

"Chasura must be either Nyarota himself or one of his side kicks who used to be his spy at the Daily News. " I love that comment, I am definitely not Geoff (my totem is Chasura Hungwe and he is a Nyati), secondly spying is for hopeless wannabe journalists who dwell on cheap newsroom politics to gain favours! On this one Gama wazoshunika shangu (as we say kwedu kwezhira, kupfeka banana chaiko), focus on improving that bland People First apologetic paper and start delivering like the objective Daily News of our time which told it like it is.

Chasura - 6 November 2015

Well done Mr Gama. Like all Zanu Poo apparatchiks, the likes of Nyarota and Charamba love it when they attack others and can't take it when the shoe is on the other foot. By the way, and speaking as a long-standing Daily News reader, there was nothing to write home about Nyarota's Daily News, despite the lies about how good it was. The likes of Chasura must have been high on something not to have seen this.

Musorodamba - 6 November 2015

The editor of Daily News is the one who has really sunk low wiith this childish article.No wonder I do not buy this paper which appears to be run by high school newspaper club.

Kufandada - 7 November 2015

So the EDITOR of the Daily News diagnoses Mr. Nyarota using a Wikipedia definition? Why not ask experts on Narcissists personality disorder and get a proper expert opinion. A junior reporter could have done that for you and you would have provided a better opinion piece on Mr. Nyarota's personality. Be the bigger person and stop being personal!

mj - 9 November 2015

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profashaf - 14 November 2015

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profashaf - 14 November 2015

LAdies and gentleman you need to understand that Nyarota did a good Job showing us what Zanu PF was doing at the time he was Editor at daily news. Right now do you think it was Nyarota's decision to leave daily news. He was attcked and threatened zviripachena kuti tokuuraya if you continue since we all know Zanu PF has turned into a MAFIA just like the yakuzi

gh - 18 November 2015

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