By Alex Bell
SW Radio Africa
27 March 2014
A recent Sunday Mail article quoting an alleged ‘exclusive’ interview with the MDC-T’s Roy Bennett has been exposed as a fabrication.
The article titled “Bennett slams Tsvangirai” was published over the weekend and still remains on the Sunday Mail website. Written by journalist Simba Jemwa, the article repeatedly quotes Bennett as saying he and other members of the MDC-T had lost faith in party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
The article claims Bennett said Tsvangirai is “power-hungry” and “strong-handed” in resisting calls for leadership renewal. The article also claims that Bennett ‘spoke-out’ against the recent suspension of MDC-T official Elton Mangoma, allegedly calling it “unprocedural.”
But Bennett, who remains exiled in South Africa, told SW Radio Africa by email communication this week that the Sunday Mail interview never took place.
“I never made any comments nor have I done any interviews with anyone, I never have and never will talk to the ZANUPF propaganda machine. I am not doing any interviews on internal party issues,” Bennett said.
The state media has been used for years as propaganda tool by the ruling ZANU PF party, and the MDC-T has most often been the target of stability shaking ‘reporting’.
The partisan nature of publications like the Herald and Sunday Mail, and broadcasts by the national ZBC, mean such media channels are often called ZANU PF mouthpieces.
The fabricated article comes at a time when the MDC-T is in a fragile position, with infighting and fresh leadership calls rocking the foundations of the party.
The party has already this week accused ZANU PF of deliberately trying to destabilise it, by refusing to pay millions of dollars owed to the opposition under the Political Parties Finance Act.