The editor of The Sunday Mail, a state-run paper, Victoria Ruzvidzo, has come under fire for calling Nelson Chamisa who leads opposition MDC Alliance a little errant child.
Ruzvidzo made the remarks while interviewing President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently. She said:
An errant child would get a bit of a sjambok to whip them into line, either physically or through other measures, maybe counselling. What are we doing with this child of ours, Nelson Chamisa?
Commenting on Ruzvidzo’s remarks, award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker, Hopewell Chin’ono said her speech was devoid of journalism ethics. Chin’ono said:
It is shocking and professionally unacceptable that the editor of the @, Victoria Ruzvidzo, would equate @ to a little kid that needs a sjambok! It just shows how deplorable this regime and its surrogates have descended from the gutter into the sewer!
UK-based law lecturer, Alex Magaisa said the remarks reminds of the colonial era when African males, no matter their age, were called boys by Europeans. He said:
“An errant child would get a bit of a sjambok to whip them into line, either physically or through other measures, maybe counselling. What are we doing with this child of ours, Nelson Chamisa?” says the editor of state paper @ Victoria RuzvidzoThere’s so much that’s wrong with this. For a start, the irony is that the Black man was regarded as a “boy” during colonial times & in an interview to commemorate independence the editor of a state paper describes the opposition leader as a “child”, literally a boy!
Mnangagwa instinctively raises his head and looks up, and probably grins underneath that mask but he realises the gaffe & by referring to “Mr Chamisa”, he tries to distance himself from the derogatory image. But he missed an opportunity to show leadership. A leader would have been more forthright in bringing the interviewer to order; to tell her it’s inappropriate to call his political opponent supported by millions a “child”. Victoria probably thinks she did a fine job. And we haven’t even talked about the violence! I don’t know what the “biblical code” or is it “cord” that Mnangagwa was on about! He probably meant “umbilical cord”, but as this was a pre-recorded interview, one wonders whether someone was out to embarrass the man. Mugabe had some rambling interviews but this? Disaster!