via Mujuru, Daily News gang up on The Herald | The Herald November 18, 2014
ZIMPAPERS’ biggest titles, The Herald and The Sunday Mail, came under attack from Vice President Joice Mujuru and The Daily News yesterday for carrying stories that exposed the assassination plot by the VP’s close allies aimed at eliminating President Mugabe so that Dr Mujuru can ascend to the presidency.
While The Herald carried a follow-up story yesterday, the time the Daily News was also being readied for print, the Sunday Mail story was based on revelations by The Daily News itself that there was a recording of suspended Zanu-PF national spokesman Rugare Gumbo saying President Mugabe will be removed the Kabila way should he block VP Mujuru’s bid to land the presidency at Congress.
Desire Laurent Kabila, who led a revolution that toppled Mobutu Sese Seko in the then Zaire, was shot by a member of his security team in 2001.
VP Mujuru yesterday sponsored full page adverts exclusively in the Daily News and the NewsDay where she accused The Herald and Sunday Mail of routinely maligning her name.
“I deny any and all the allegations of treason, corruption, incompetence, and mis-use of public office being routinely made against me in “The Herald” and “Sunday Mail” Newspapers,” read her statement in part.
The Daily News then picked the charge in strongly worded, albeit abusive terms, labelling the Herald and Sunday Mail “lick-spittle media” among other epithets.
In a front page comment titled “A regime gone mad”, the Daily News dubbed the Zimpapers stable “lick-spittle State media, ever so faithfully and unquestioningly peddling the scurrillous claims that Vice President Mujuru’s supporters are allegedly plotting to not just topple but also assassinate President Robert Mugabe.”
The paper went further in a story headlined, “Is Mujuru facing imminent arrest” to claim that “The State-controlled Sunday Mail newspaper fingered two of the VP’s closest allies yesterday — former Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo and current secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa — accusing them of having recently “spoken of assassinating” Mugabe.”
In another story headlined “Crux of Mugabe’s ‘assassination plot’”, the Daily News went on to claim that reports of the existence of a recording quoting Rugare Gumbo saying President Mugabe could be assassinated was a Sunday Mail “sting” operation.
“But even going by the paper’s purported Gumbo sting recording, that says “Kana Mugabe akaramba achipusha Mujuru out tichamubvisa sezvakaitwa Kabila (If Mugabe keeps trying to force Mujuru out, we will remove him like what happened to Kabila)”, read the Daily News story.
The charge was repeated in another piece titled “Illegal phone bugging, spying rampant” where the Daily News again claimed that The Sunday Mail had originated the Gumbo recording issue.
Herald editor Caesar Zvayi said while he was surprised by the Daily News’ unwarranted attack, the Herald would not be deterred but would continue covering news as they break.
“It is the Daily News which broke the news to the nation that there is a recording of Rugare Gumbo saying President Mugabe will be removed the Kabila way which is why it comes as a surprise that the paper made us the subject of attack in four different articles over an issue that they themselves put in the public domain in the first place.
“We are, however, used to this kind of attention though as the country’s biggest, integrated media house. We do not make the news, we simply report it and have been vindicated no end for that principled stance. The record is there, which is why we dominate the market,” Zvayi said.