Analysts slam Nigerian ‘journalists’

via Analysts slam Nigerian ‘journalists’ | The Herald June 2, 2015 by Lovemore Mataire and Felex Share

Zimbabweans have roundly condemned the conduct of fringe “journalists” from an unregulated on-line gutter website calling itself Sahara News who harassed President Mugabe as he attended the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Nigeria, last Friday.

Media and political analysts expressed shock at the apparent lax security accorded to President Mugabe by Nigerian authorities.

The harassment of the President has been described as a direct attack on the entire African continent as he was attending the inauguration in his official capacity as the African Union chairperson.

Commenting on his twitter account, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo described as “uncouth” the behaviour of the “journalists”, adding that the harassment appeared pre-planned.

He said it was surprising the “journalists”, whom he labelled “would-be Nollywood actors and Boko Haram journalists” had been allowed near the President to ask provocative questions.

“They were making silly statements which proved that theirs was a pre-planned onslaught on a visiting Head of State,” he said.

“These are political activists masquerading as journalists who imagine their countries as a model of democracy. That would not happen in Zimbabwe against any visiting head of State or Government, not even Barack Obama or David Cameron. The ‘journalists’ or whoever they are, were not asking questions, but were making fools of themselves and their country.”

Prof Moyo added: “If Nigeria journalism has come to be this, then God help Nigeria since nobody has monopoly over such uncouth misconduct. It is a sad tale of a man biting a dog when journalists make the news they should be covering. Free countries have rules, including diplomatic courtesy, not the display of Boko Haram journalism. Of course, those are human beings, but are they journalists or Boko Haram?”

A background check on the identity of Sahara News revealed that it dabbles in what it calls “citizen journalism” and activism aimed at denouncing “officially-sanctioned corruption and disregard of the democratic principles enshrined in the constitution.”

Observers expressed shock at how such a “gutter” group of “journalists” could have access to the VVIP section including being at an arm’s-length of the President.

Responding to assertions that members of the Zimbabwean security and protocol should be fired, Prof Moyo said: “The responsibility of protecting the President there squarely fell on the shoulders of Nigerian authorities. Our guys did a sterling job. That was a VVIP area and the question is who let those would-be Nollywood actors there?”

He said while the “journalists” had ambushed President Mugabe, they had actually humiliated themselves.

Acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Christopher Mutsvangwa, said: “It’s an old trick. These are planted agents who have been organised by ambitious malcontents. It is not surprising that you might see a local hand in all this. It is a domestic thing that has nothing to do with Nigeria. I see malice and mischief by people who foist their domestic disgruntlement onto hired foreign agents camouflaged as journalists.”

Zimbabwe Media Commission chairperson, Dr Tafataona Mahoso, said the conduct of the “journalists” not only showed serious contempt and disrespect for President Mugabe, but also exposed Nigerian complicit in the whole media stunt.

“You must remember that it was in Nigeria that the DailyNews published a special addition when Olusegun Obasanjo (former Nigerian President) collaborated with John Howard (former Australian Prime Minister) to have Zimbabwe expelled from the Commonwealth. It was also Nigeria which betrayed Charles Taylor (former Liberian President) when they collaborated with the ICC to have him sent to The Hague. The same Nigeria is the one that together with South Africa supported a UN resolution for the bombardment and invasion of Libya,” said Dr Mahoso.

Dr Mahoso said the new Nigerian administration had a lot to do in terms of projecting the real character of Nigeria, not the one associated with deceit and collaboration with regime change agents.

University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Dr Tavengwa Gwekwerere, trashed the nature of questions posed by the “journalists” whom he described as not only ignorant of the political situation in Zimbabwe, but demonstrated their ideological bankruptcy.

“We don’t expect real journalists to be ignorant of the fact that Zimbabwe recently had elections that were resoundingly won by President Mugabe whose mandate runs to 2018. Their questions did not reflect the kind of research that we expect of journalists before meeting such high profile figures. These are people clearly singing for their supper. Their conduct was outlandish and outrageous,” said Dr Gwekwerere.

Zimbabwe Union of Journalists secretary-general, Foster Dongozi, condemned the harassment saying President Mugabe had gone to Nigeria as the African Union chair and should have been accorded the dignity and respect that suited his office.

“There is no way a visiting Head of State or Government can be allowed to be embarrassed by people pretending to be journalists,” he said. “As much as we respect freedom of expression, we are disappointed by the behaviour of those gangsters in the presence of Nigerian authorities. As Africans, we should respect leaders particularly putting into context that President Mugabe was holding the revered office of AU chair.

“They should have known this was not an ordinary person, but a leader of the whole continent, including themselves.”

Veteran journalist, Innocent Chofamba Sithole, said the “journalists” had squandered an engagement opportunity with President Mugabe in favour of heckling.

“Their approach was unprofessional and unjournalistic,” he said. “After all, he is there as head of the AU and any professional journalist would of course address him first and foremost with the respect and dignity of his office. To fail to do so is to disrespect our own institutions and therefore, ourselves. I know this is Mugabe and many will enjoy seeing him heckled like this, but I would have enjoyed seeing him asked about the same subject but presented in a professional manner that would have forced him to acknowledge his interlocutor and respond.”


  • comment-avatar

    Hahahaha! Mugabe got spanked by that fierce young lady! He ran away from her questions like a rabbit running from a shadow. He can’t handle the truth. He’s a coward, through and through.

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    kalulu 7 years ago

    This article once again from the government mouthpiece lacks objectivity. The president was being asked legitimate questions as well as being reminded that there is no democracy in Zimbabwe even in ZANU PF. What is wrong with asking such questions. The world which is ‘global’ has witnessed how Mugabe and his ‘cheerleaders’ unconsitutionally removed their own vice-president from their party and went went a step further by firing her from the party, firing a national ‘heroine’ who played such a significant role together with her ‘militarily’ decorated husband and many others in fighting for Zimbabwe’s independence. The party and government which is now being run by ‘Grace’ who never participated in any way apar from ‘looting’ and you you expect profession journalists not to ask such pertinent questions. Other countries even in Africa are moving forward whilst tyrants and their ‘ill-dvised’ supporters including ‘pseudo professors’ continue to worship a mere mortal who has dismally failed to run the country, what a shame.

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    Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

    The Herald and Zanu PF feel stung in this article. The journalists asked simple questions and they expected simple answers in return but Mugabe had no response.

    It’s simply because Mugabe cannot justify his prolonged stay in power where he is performing so poorly but still wants to hang on to power.

    And when he hears that there is an inauguration somewhere he wants to jump in and join the festivities. Why does he think he can never be a former president?

    At 91 he shouldn’t be anywhere near power but because of his own selfish ambitions he wants to cling on to power with no regard for anybody else.

    For Mugabe to gain any respect from other Africans, he should first respect Zimbabweans by stepping aside because he is doing exactly nothing for them.

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    Who are these analysts may I ask. I would like to congratulate the Nigerians for doing us a favour, If all the countries did the same may be the traveler will learn to rest his old age self in Zimbabwe that he has destroyed. Meanwhile at home he wants to unleash the army on defenseless vendors who are doing their best to fend for themselves in a country with no employment prospects. have vendors created a state of emergency for the army to be called in.

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    Chanisa 7 years ago

    Why would anyone, including planted agents, want to embarrass an innocent man? Would the stupid analysts please tell us.

  • comment-avatar
    mwana 7 years ago

    People, Mugabe is a hero to all blacks outside of Zim. Even in the USA. Why things went wrong, is a story that history will tell us one day.

    • comment-avatar
      kalulu 7 years ago

      Sorry, I did not quite get your point, are you saying that Mugabe is a hero or is it that only people outside Zimbabwe say that he is a hero. To be precise I would appreciate your own opnion whether Mugabe is a hero or not and if you say he is a hero could you explain his heoroism and whether he remains a hero and how he outperformed others who participated in the struggle.