Moyo attacks private media, again

HARARE – The chairman of the embattled former ruling party Zanu-PF, Simon Khaya Moyo has again lashed out at the private media for what he called lack of national focus and ignoring issues that are of historic importance.

In the past, Moyo who is fast developing a reputation of being aggressive to the media urged the country’s security forces to crash journalists who criticize them.

Moyo, whose name is now tagged by State media as National Chairman, Senator Ambassador Moyo, went on a rampage attacking sections of the private media who he accused of failing to tell the Zimbabwean story in its rightful context but instead choose to focus on issues that do not contribute to the national cause.

He described this as abuse of journalistic ethics and privilege.

Citing what he said were incidents where some sections of that media have been exposed to failure to articulate national interests, Moyo reminded the private media that the Zimbabwean story should be told by all Zimbabweans as national challenges and difficulties affect everyone.

“I noted some of these publications lack proper publishing policies, or programmes but only write Mugabe this, Mugabe that and all very negative.

“You begin to wonder whose interests they serve because when Zimbabwe is burning, we all burn,” Moyo.

In the past Moyo has been reported as urging the country’s security forces to crash journalists who criticize them.

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

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“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 down.

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

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At the time, the 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.

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“This is a malicious statement from a senior party officials, which is meant to create alarm and also endangering journalists

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“We condemn such reckless statements,” said Dube.

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Meanwhile, State media has gone on a step further in a desperate bit to elevate the Status of Zanu PF leaders and with the shortage of political commentators favourable to the former ruling party, party leaders and well known functionaries like Chris Mutsvangwa are now regularly labeled “Political analyst” Ambassador Mutsvangwa.

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Even the discredited politburo member, Tsholotsho legislator Professor Jonathan Moyo is tagged with a “political analyst” to his name whenever he lines up for a State media interview.

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Meanwhile, an independent media freedom group has said the party of Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe Zanu PF has kept a “stranglehold” on broadcasting in the southern African nation.

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The Media Institute of Southern Africa says Zimbabwe, with just one broadcast station airing on four radio wavelengths and two television channels, lags far behind other African countries in opening its airwaves to crucial free expression. The group made the statement Wednesday, Africa Freedom Day.

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The group says independent broadcasting mushroomed throughout Africa while Zimbabwe’s electronic media “stagnated” under President Robert Mugabe’s control as a propaganda tool for his party. \r\n

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The group says other nations have more radio stations. Uganda, which recently cracked down on the media, has more than 120. Tiny Benin has 73.

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