'I am A Victim of Hate Speech' – Tsvangirai

Harare, – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said he is a victim of hate speech by Zimbabwean journalists but said he is strong defender of press freedom.

Tsvangirai was responding to the attack by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) this week that he had used a public address to castigate state media journalists, describing them as ‘shallow’.

“Prime Minister Tsvangirai has always been a victim and not a perpetrator of hate speech. He has been a victim of a hostile public media that has consistently and persistently attacked his person and it is regrettable that ZUJ has not sought to protect him or to censor the responsible journalists and the media houses, “said Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai spokesperson Luke Tamorinyoka in a statement on Friday.

Tsvangirai said it was the duty of ZUJ and the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) to protect both the public and journalists from all forms of abuses including his office.

The statement said Tsvangirai believed in the role of free expression in economic development.

“He believes that the fanning of violence and hatred by the media must stop immediately in the national interest. But he also upholds and respects the Global Political Agreement (GPA), which calls for the granting of new broadcasting licenses to private players and calls on the public media to refrain from abusive language and hate speech, “noted the statement.