State Editors urged to attack Tsvangirai

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe’s spokesperson who doubles up as bodyguard George Charamba has ordered all state media editors to go all out in attack against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai ahead of elections which he insisted will be held this year.\r\n

Charamba was addressing the editors at a strategic meeting held in Nyanga two weeks ago. He reportedly urged the editors to continue pouring out propaganda in support of Mugabe saying Tsvangirai should never be allowed to rule Zimbabwe as he is a sellout.

A senior editor from one of the state media newspapers told Radio VOP that Charamba had called the meeting to ensure that all of them understood the need to ensure that they campaigned for Mugabe during elections this year.

The meeting was attended by editors from the Herald, Sunday Mail, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Chronicle, H-Metro, B-Metro and Kwayedza.

“It was supposed to be a strategic meeting but it ended up as a Tsvangirai bashing retreat. Charamba made it clear that Tsvangirai should be destroyed through the media and said when election time approaches, the stories on the Prime Minister must not be balanced. He said Tsvangirai must be dressed down and even said they should not be worried about lawsuits but he did not explain what he plans in the case of newspaper being sued.

“He said we should go all out in attack and never give him (Tsvangirai) a chance.  The only strategy discussed at the meeting was propaganda. But Charamba also said that we must gear ourselves for competition from the many newspapers that are coming including The Daily News.

“What surprised us was that Charamba was speaking like a Zanu PF official by denigrating the Prime Minister yet he is only a civil servant who is not supposed to discuss politics especially in a situation where we have an inclusive government.

“Some editors however privately questioned how we can remain competitive while churning out propaganda instead of the real stories. Some were also privately wondering if ever elections will be held at all this year. It looks like generally nobody believed what Charamba was saying but at times you have to pretend to be in agreement,” said the editor.

The meeting also discussed how the newspapers are performing in terms of business.

Charamba is known for his interference in the state media where he directs operations from his Munhumutapa offices. He uses gullible editors to rubbish Mugabe’s opponents while at the same time propagating his boss’ propaganda.

Charamba also uses the state media to attack his opponents with the Zanu PF system.