Zanu PF Denied Tsvangirai Media Crew For His Foreign Tour

HARARE, – The Ministry of Information and Publicity failed to give Prime Minister Tsvangirai a media crew to travel with him on his tour to European Union States and the USA.\r\n

Sources in the ministry said Tsvangirai’s office wrote a letter to the Ministry of Information and Publicity requesting that they make available a media crew to travel with the Prime Minister.

“The letter was written by Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s Chief Secretary Ian Makone to Minister Webster Shamu and Permanent Secretary George Charamba but the two never responded,“ said the sources.

Prime minister Tsvangirai’s office is said to have offered to meet the costs for the media crew.

The Minister of Tourism Walter Mzembi was even left fuming last weekend when a ZBC reporter arrived at the airport to cover his departure without a camera.

Mzembi was part of Tsvangirai’s delegation.

But ZBC Chief Executive Officer, Happisson Muchechetere, said only the President is entitled to travel with a news crew.

“You can’t compare the President and Prime Minister. It is only the President who gets coverage when he is out of the country,“ said Muchechetere.

“This is because of protocol and resource constraints. The resources that we have are only for the President but i think in future if we get a request we can ask the Ministry of Finance to foot the bill.“

The state media has been over the past days covering Tsvangirai’s trip in a very negative manner. The Herald is leading the onslaught. It first carried a reports suggesting that Tsvangirai had been sent to Europe and the United States by President Mugabe with a special brief of having sanctions removed.

The papers has been consistently building up the negative coverage carrying misleading headlines such as "Dutch Snub Tsvangirai" and "Tsvangirai to face American resistance."