Bridget Mananavire 4 May 2017
HARARE – Information, Media and Broadcasting Services minister Christopher
Mushowe has slammed media polarisation and its abuse by politicians,
saying it is destroying the country.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by his deputy Thokozile
Mathuthu at the commemorations of World Press Freedom Day in Harare
“I want to kill the divisive spirit in the media….The description of our
media as either private or public does not exist in my vocabulary,”
“As Information… minister, I superintend over the media industry in
Zimbabwe without exception,” he said.
“The composition of your various associations …which bring together
players from the public and private media augurs well for our industry
because it provides platforms on which to address common concerns.”
“This helps to kill media polarisation we are witnessing in our country
today and fuelled by partisan interests as political parties begin
jockeying for space in the build-up to next year’s general elections,”
“Media polarisation is unhealthy, counter-productive, unprofessional and
extremely deplorable. It does not benefit our nation but short-changes our
people by serving them a daily diet of half-baked news and misleading
“I don’t doubt that you will rise to the occasion today and find solutions
to this scourge which has afflicted our media each time our nation goes to
general elections. Allowing our media to be abused by politicians does not
help build a cohesive and professional industry. Such abuse is a bane on
our society, divisive and retrogressive.”
This also comes as journalists have requested to meet President Robert
Mugabe over the attacks and intimidation of colleagues.
Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe group editor Stanley Gama said the
succession battle in Zanu PF had seen some journalists being harassed and
threatened, as political players in the ruling party use all sorts of
methods to position themselves to succeed Mugabe.
“This is why we want to meet Mugabe himself and discuss our concerns,
especially the threats aimed at us journalists. I believe the president
has the powers to call his people to order and stop harassing,
intimidating and threatening journalists,” he said.
“Some of us have had attempts on our lives and one of my cases has been
reported to the police whom I believe are still investigating and will
bring the culprits to book,” Gama said
“This day is therefore important in that it reminds us as journalists to
resist attempts to silence and intimidate us.”
“Some of us will continue to tell it like it is, without fear or favour
and we will resist the intimidation which has increased in the last few
months,” he vowed.
The media practitioners also discussed the issue of fake news which they
said was affecting professional journalism and ethics.