Tsvangirai Media-Onslaught Intensifies

HARARE, -The public media has upped its media-onslaught on the PM, Morgan Tsvangirai with journalists at the state-controlled Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings complaining that they are being continuously forced to denounce him ahead of the forth coming SADC summit to be held in DRC this week.

Tsvangirai has formally complained to SADC chairman Jacob Zuma, South Africa’s President that Zanu PF continued to flout the Global Political Agreement that gave birth to the unity government. Zimbabwe is high on the agenda at the SADC summit this week.

Television and radio producers at ZBC said they were being forced to interview ZANU (PF) officials selected by the editors.

“Orders have been given by the editorial team that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai should never be given positive coverage. Every time we are ordered to re-write scripts that seem to be objective on the Prime Minister,” said a senior radio news producer who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.

“ZANU(PF) propagandists  like Nathan Shamuyarira are called for staged interviews on radio and  television, and we are not given the chances to ask them questions as everything is prepared for us by the editors. In fact these politicians come to tell the nation on TV and Radio what they want people to hear. We have been reduced to secretaries of ZANU (PF) politicians, and we are no longer journalists. Most of the reporters are frustrated with the system and given a chance will be glad to leave,” said a senior journalist.

Prime Minister’s spokesperson James Maridadi said the move by state media is against the spirit of the inclusive government.

“Prime Minister Tsvangirai is the head of government because he formulates, supervises and implements government policies in the inclusive government. What ZBC and the Herald are doing is very dangerous to the  future of the inclusive government, in which Tsvangirai  is one of the principals who need to be respected.PM’s position to state media has  been straight forwad,and has  issued a  number of statements complaining about the issue,” said Maridadi.

ZBC and the Herald newspaper have continued lambasting PM Tsvangirai acting on orders from the ministry of Information and Publicity which is under the stewardship of President Mugabe’s favorites Webster Shamu, and chief propagandist George Charamba.

Last month both ZBC and the Herald received instructions from the Ministry of Information that they should address President Mugabe as Head of State and Government and Commander-In-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence forces.