Zanu PF chairman urges security forces to crash and destroy journalists

Bulawayo – Zanu (PF) national's new rogue chairman, Simon Khaya-Moyo has urged the country security forces to crash journalists who criticize them.

Addressing Zanu (PF) supporters in Umguza constituency at the weekend at a meeting organised by the local legislator and country’s Chief diamond geezer Obert "Chiadzwa-Marange" Mpofu, Khaya-Moyo warned journalists who criticise the country’s police, soldiers and central intelligence organization saying they won’t be tolerated.

“In some countries if you criticise security forces you won’t last a day you will be crashed, killed and destroyed. I warn journalists in the private media to stop this, because it won’t be tolerated and we will hunt them and kill them.

“You hear them talk about press freedom. What press freedom?” Asked Khaya-Moyo.

Khaya-Moyo’s sentiments come at a time when there is serious police crackdown on journalists. The Standard senior reporter Nqobani Ndlovu spent nine days in prison before his editor Nevanji Madanhire was locked up in police cells.

Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe Chapter chairperson Loughty Dube blasted Khaya-Moyo saying he did not expect such a malicious statement from a party chairman.

"This is a malicious statement from a senior party officials, which is meant to create alarm and also endangering journalists at a time when the country is planning for next year elections.

“We condemn such reckless statements,” said Dube.

Since the talk about possible elections by President Robert Mugabe, the harassment of journalists by police has increased.

Earlier this month, freelance journalists, Nkosana Dlamini and Andreson Manyere were arrested in Harare and held overnight before being charged with "criminal nuisance."

On the same day, another freelance journalist, Sydney Saize, was beaten up, robbed and injured in Mutare.

A Masvingo journalist was on Sunday severely beaten up at a Zanu (PF) provincial meeting attended by Moyo and two party’s politburo members and ministers Webster Shamu and Stan Mudenge.

Meanwhile, Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu says he is proud to be “President Robert Mugabe’s son” as the octogenarian leader is the father of the liberation struggle.

Mpofu, who is Zanu PF MP for Umguza, was addressing supporters at Nyamandlovu on Saturday where he donated an ambulance and 30 tonnes of maize seed.

The minister sent tongues wagging last month when he reportedly signed off a letter he had written to President Mugabe as “your ever obedient son”.

“Joshua Nkomo brought liberation to this country, that is why he is called Father Zimbabwe; and President Mugabe also brought the liberation of this country. When you tell other people that you are their son they jump and say they have found a scoop,” said Mpofu.

He said he would not be swayed by attacks from people who did not know who their fathers were.

“We are proud of that. I am proud to be born to people who liberated this country. When they sent us to distribute land, we went in with the war veterans and look how beautiful the people are because they are benefiting from the programme.”

Mpofu facilitated to have his constituency benefit from a Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe scheme, which provided an additional 30 tonnes of seed after he had already donated 30 tonnes.

The move is largely seen as a campaign strategy in preparation for possible elections next year.

He thanked the people for electing him MP and begged them to repeat the same feat in the next election saying he would “collapse and die” were he to lose elections.

“I am very grateful to the people who voted me into power; that is why I am doing this. Please do not disappoint me because I will suffer from blood pressure and I will collapse and die.”

He said his donation would benefit all people in the constituency, including members of other political parties whom he said would realise how beneficial it was to support Zanu PF.

“We are not going to discriminate on grounds of political affiliation. The seed will be distributed to everyone. The ambulance will also serve everyone. It is not everyone who knows the correct path at the beginning but they will realise with time the advantages of joining Zanu PF.

However, we are appealing to authorities not to charge exorbitant fees for the ambulance so that everyone benefits,” he said.

Mpofu also paid school fees for students from a poor background in the constituency.

“We have started building Nganda School and the mortuary. If you think I am buying votes, then you are free to come in and make a better offer. I have set the standards and you have to beat them for people to vote you,” said Mpofu.

In an apparent reference to Zapu, Mpofu warned war veterans against working with negative forces.
“You are enlightened people, having sacrificed a lot in the struggle for liberation. It would be very sad for you to work with forces that would take us backwards,” said Mpofu.

Two weeks ago, Mpofu officially opened a state-of-the-art clinic in Nyamandlovu equipped with computers.