Tanonoka Joseph Whande
Monday 23 June 2014
Every government in Africa has a Ministry of Information and this includes government run newspapers, radio stations, television stations and other forms of media.
It was the American musician, Jim Morrison, who said that ‘whoever controls the media, controls the mind’.
It used to be that way, in the days when governments in the so-called third world countries were the only ones who could not only afford running newspapers, radio and television stations but owned them.
Today, people do not care for CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, BBC or any of those established news organizations.
The competition came not from billionaires but from the ordinary person on the street. With a simple cellphone, everyone has become a news reporter and we see shamed news organisations running news clips filmed by individuals. And the old guard uses the clips with a caution that “we cannot confirm that this footage is authentic”. But it is, nevertheless, news footage that they broadcast as “breaking news”.
Meanwhile, newspapers are beaten to the goal line by bloggers while Twitter, Facebook, and other social media broadcast news instantly and live.
Jonathan Moyo and Supa Mandiwanzira have always to rush to their office computers to hear and see what is happening in the country. They are no longer the originators or owners of information so they have a lot of time on their hands.
Let the morons yap all they want but as long as I have access to the internet, I will tell Bob Mugabe who is lifting that other woman’s skirt.
Gone are the days when the world used to depend on information from their own governments. And this has made Information Ministries redundant.
The times they are a-changing!
They changed a long time ago and I hope my brother Rugare Gumbo and Jonathan Moyo are aware of that.
Edmund Kudzayi, editor of the Sunday mail, is accused of being implicated in the origination of Facebook characters Baba/Mai Jukwa.
Kudzayi is the second person to be accused of the same “crime”.
Even the government, which pretends to know it all and gives us “information”, does not seem to know the truth and because of this, those who gather information are accused of things that are public knowledge.
What today is regarded as state secrets is nothing but a butt of jokes on the internet. We know it before Mugabe is given the stupid folder.
Unoshaya kuti zvinombofamba sei.
Edmund Kudzayi is now being accused of laughable transgressions.
According to Zimbabwe’s Daily News, the former Sunday Mail editor now faces charges of “insurgency, terrorism, banditry, sabotage, subverting a constitutionally elected government and not securing firearms” in addition to ‘publishing falsehoods’.
He did all this at the Sunday Mail?
Right under Jonathan Moyo and George Charamba’s noses? Oh, please!
Is it by coincidence that Moyo, in his first foray at state power, introduced the two most obnoxious legislative pieces, the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) that not only caused untold distress to journalists and media houses but curtailed people’s freedoms?
Is it not Jonathan Moyo again, lurking but visible in the background who is, once again, causing distress to media people?
Moyo’s attempts at being the kingmaker is fuelled by the simple fact that since Zimbabwe’s independence, Mugabe never made an attempt to groom a successor so the post of Vice President was seen as a vacancy to be used at Mugabe’s convenience.
And he used it well – ask Emerson Mnangagwa who, for millennia, was always made to believe he was Mugabe’s chosen successor.
As Mugabe’s days tick away, the fight for succession gets dirtier and meaner.
Now the messengers of those few titbits of information are accused of manufacturing them.
Mugabe believes that Moyo, who now has presidential ambitions of his own, is using state media to promote his faction, the faction allegedly led by Mnangagwa, the same man for whom Moyo convened that infamous meeting in Tsholotsho.
And the people of Zimbabwe are paying a heavy price for all this idiocy.
Now our journalists are on the run again.
At the very same time, the editor of the Chronicle, Mduduzi Mathuthu’s property was stolen, prompting suspicion that these two events were related as Kudzayi “faces a raft of allegations including undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority, terrorism, espionage, attempting to overturn a constitutional order – and pretty much whatever else the authorities can think of”.
This came on the same day that Stanley Gama, the Group Editor of Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe “was cleared of criminal defamation charges after a Harare magistrate said that the law under which he was being charged had been declared illegal by the constitutional court”.
The heart of the matter is that Zimbabwean journalists are under a worsening siege as Zimbabwean presidential succession fights spill into newsrooms.
As companies close down in record numbers and as thousands and thousands of people are being laid off, we are being subjected to a useless and stupid war of narcissists who are using us and the state to preen their egos while people are suffering.
The factional fights within ZANU-PF are now being fought on the heads of journalists and we might be looking at the beginning of a serious effort to further control journalists, castrate the media more and subdue journalists to use them for the politicians’ ends.
It was insulting when, on Friday, Jonathan Moyo himself broke his silence on the hunt and arrest of his editors.
Unbelievably, Moyo said that there was nothing sinister about the Sunday Mail editor’s arrest.
“Nothing special is happening here, depending on how one looks at it,”Moyo told Zimbabwean journalist Ray Ndlovu. “The law is taking its course therefore matters will be resolved legally.”
I would kill my boss if he so much as uttered this rubbish while I stand there in handcuffs.
What a boss Jonathan Moyo is.
As for me, oh, excuse me, but any time a police officer takes me into custody or simply visits my home, I do not like it and I do not look at it in any other way other than me being accused.
It remains to be seen what transpires as the succession battles in ZANU-PF worsen and as Jonathan Moyo, once again, dangerously toys around with Zimbabwean journalists.
Zimbabwean journalists are being made to pay just because of their sheer presence. ZANU-PF and, particularly Jonathan Moyo, is intimidated by the simple existence of journalists.
The media in Zimbabwe is suffering and throughout the years, no one has done more damage to it than Moyo.
Jonathan Moyo is a politically underfed narcissist who gets kicks out of abusing journalists.
If he had any shame; if he wanted to right the wrongs he initiated and installed against the media and the people, he would have been fighting for the elimination of both POSA and AIPPA.
This man is a demon in the newsrooms and, on a positive note, is helping to destroy Emerson Mnangagwa, who, for reasons even his ancestors can never explain, actually believes he will succeed Mugabe.
It might be interesting to look at how many journalists have been arrested, disappeared, or killed during the lifespan of Jonathan Moyo’s previous and current stewardship of the ministry that oversees our profession and as a result of his POSA and AIPPA.
But, more importantly, we really need to ask ourselves the question that: of what benefit are both Robert Mugabe and Jonathan Moyo to Zimbabwe?
Idiots are idiots and gallons and gallons of bleach will never erase that.
I feel sorry for Rugare Gumbo as he tries to defend the indefensible.
Whether or not they love the message, it has nothing to do with the messenger. Mugabe and Moyo must fight their wars away from journalists and newsrooms.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, June 23rd, 2014.
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