Take Moyo with a pinch of salt, journalists warned

via Take Moyo with a pinch of salt, journalists warned | SW Radio Africa by Mthulisi Mathuthu 11 October 2013

Information minister Jonathan Moyo’s extending of the olive branch to the media is a welcome gesture, but should be taken with a pinch of salt media watchers have warned.

The warning comes at a time when Moyo is touring local media houses urging cordial relationships between the state and journalists, a gesture at odds with his previous no-holds barred stance towards journalists.

Outgoing director of the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe, Takura Zhangazha, said journalists should be alert to the possibility that the government could be seeking to ‘co-opt’ them as consultants, without them having any meaningful influence.

Writing in his blog spot Zhangazha warned that, ‘after all the hugs and kisses, this newfound relationship with victorious single ruling party policymakers remains one premised on the latter’s benevolence as opposed to common democratic principles and values.’

The local media this week showed a smiling Moyo shaking hands and joking with senior journalists, like Daily News Editor Stanley Gama and Alpha Media Group Senior Associate Editor Iden Wetherell, raising concerns that Moyo could be pulling the wool over his known adversaries’ eyes.

Gama admitted that ‘so many people from around the world’ had quizzed him on his engagement with Moyo. Gama said Moyo appeared to be genuine as he promised to ‘open new broadcasting stations’. The Daily News Editor added that he would for now take the minister ‘at his word’ but remain mindful of the fact that one ‘can’t trust politicians hundred percent’.

Newsday reported Friday that Moyo, during a visit to their offices, made a ‘passionate plea to the media to turn a new leaf and bring an end to the polarisation that has characterised the industry for over a decade’.

Moyo was quoted as saying, ‘polarisation hasn’t been in anyone’s interest’ and that a new leaf had to be turned in the interest of the nation.

This stance is at odds with Moyo’s spell as information minister between 2000 and 2004. During that time a quarrelsome Moyo oversaw the introduction of laws such as the Access to Information and the Protection of Privacy Act as well as the Broadcasting Services Act.

Both laws restricted the activities of journalists and barred new broadcasting players. Capital Radio, later to become the SW Radio Africa, was forcibly stopped from broadcasting, with Moyo playing a major role.

Also during his previous spell, Moyo oversaw the deportation of foreign journalists and the arrests of many local ones, as well as increased control of the public media which routinely abuses opposition members.

Moyo’s gesture is seen in some quarters as in line with ZANU PF’s efforts to win public support by appearing to be conciliatory. Moyo is himself widely seen as a flip-flopper and is a universally known propagandist for whose services Mugabe is reportedly grateful.

Only this week the Independent newspaper reported that Mugabe, during a ZANU PF politburo meeting, credited Moyo with ‘masterminding the party’s landslide victory in the July 31 elections’ which the MDCs attribute to systematic rigging.



  • comment-avatar
    maisokwazo 11 years ago

    Never in a life time can a leopard change its color. NEVER! Jonathan Moyo. Moyo Jonathan conciliatory what a bluff! How ridiculous and how naïve Zimbabweans are .so naïve so very naïve if Zimbabweans think Jonathan Moyo can change and become conciliatory, What all Zimbabweans and all those who can and are easily lured by Jonathan Moyo etiquette and niceties is Jonathan Moyo.s predatory demeanor, His manipulative and devilish and diabolic disposition is abound. And that is the nature of Jonathan Moyo and Zimbabweans not be so naïve yet Jonathan Moyo never ceases to take Zimbabweans as dummies and zombies. HUH!

  • comment-avatar
    Rwendo 11 years ago

    The Spider & the Fly:

    “I’m sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high; 
    Will you rest upon my little bed?” said the Spider to the Fly. 
    “There are pretty curtains drawn around; the sheets are fine and thin, 
    And if you like to rest awhile, I’ll snugly tuck you in!” 
    Oh no, no,” said the little Fly, “for I’ve often heard it said, 
    They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed!” 

  • comment-avatar
    easily fooled 11 years ago

    Vote Prof Moyo for President…..he has it all, he can rig, can lie, can love etc……like His Exellency, First Secretary, Commander in Chief, First Family…….etc

  • comment-avatar
    ZimJim 11 years ago

    If he repeals the “Access to Information and the Protection of Privacy Act as well as the Broadcasting Services Act.” He might, just might, get taken seriously and justify his own existence!..
    Don’t hold your breath though…