Tsvangirai Did Not Abuse Journalists: Tamborinyoka

HARARE,- Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka has defended his boss’s position in which he has been attacked by public media journalists for doubting their professionalism in face of the incessant propaganda being peddled by them.

He said that his boss has not abused journalists. Tamborinyoka said his boss was rather a long time victim of the public media without protection from the same stakeholders raising concern over his recent statement saying the same media also had a responsibility to protect the citizens.

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PM Tsvangirai attacked the public media for irresponsible journalism saying it was “hard to believe that the journalists themselves believed in their own stories.”

“The Prime Minister, for long (time has been) a victim of hate speech and a subservient public media, has largely remained quiet in the wake of vicious and defamatory attacks. He respects the public media, but the same media also have a responsibility to respect him and the public office that he holds,” said Tamborinyoka.

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He also indicated that the citizenry also need protection from the same media organizations like ZUJ and Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) just as they protect the journalists from other physical and verbal attacks.

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“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 the ZUJ has not sought to protect him or to censor the responsible journalists and the media houses,” he said.

ZUJ recently issued a statement condemning the recent attacks at the media including the statements by PM Tsvangirai made at the recent SAPES truts seminar in the capital.

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“We are concerned that some of the public officials implicated in the use of intolerant language with potential to undermine or demean journalists are Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, whose statements implied that colleagues working in the Public media are ‘shallow’.

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We acknowledge that journalists need to improve on professional and ethical conduct after the profession was for several years in the doldrums,” read the ZUJ statement.

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While Zimbabwean journalists have been subjected to some very unfair situations in the country, with politicians being part of the perpetrators of violence against them, the public media has been accused of furthering the Zanu (PF) propaganda portraying the MDC and other Zanu (PF) critics as enemies of the state through its partisan reportage. (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)