Mahoso has nothing to offer

tafataona__mahosoThe appointment of Tafataona Mahoso (Pictured) as chief executive officer (CEO) of the newly constituted Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) defies logic.

The creation of the ZMC is consistent with the provisions of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed in September 2008 by the three principals in the inclusive government. The primary objective is to reform the media institutions in Zimbabwe to be consistent with the democratization process which the country is supposedly engaged in. Mahoso has a deplorable track record of implementing all kinds of evil restrictions against the media in this country.

Under his chairmanship of the now defunct Media and Information Commission (MIC) no less than five newspapers were banned and several foreign and local journalists were arrested and some were deported from Zimbabwe. Mahoso has also demonstrated his lack of suitability for the post of CEO of the ZMC by writing some of the most partisan columns in state-owned and controlled newspapers. His love of hate language, as reflected in his writings, should automatically disqualify him for the CEOs job in the ZMC.

Given his ugly track record, Mahoso cannot be expected to effectively implement the policies and programmes of the new Commission. In fact, he is very likely to use the position of CEO to sabotage some of the reforms that the ZMC is likely to propose. There is clear evidence that the Zanu (PF) elements within the ZMC view Mahoso as crucial for the safeguarding of the media interests, whatever they may be.

They would like to keep their media hangman in the critical position of CEO of the ZMC so that the independent media will remain constrained and emasculated, especially since the notorious Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) is still very much in place. Mahoso will obviously find ways and means to have some of the independent media houses closed for spurious reasons. We must not allow him to get away with it this time. The fact that he dismally failed the interviews for the commissioners job should be enough reason to keep him as far away from the media as possible.

It is now evident that the ZMC is a divided house, and that it does not speak with one voice. There is the Zanu (PF) group that would like to see Mahoso remain at the helm of the ZMC secretariat for obvious reasons; then there is a group of progressive and reform-minded commissioners who would like to see the back of Mahoso. In fact, one such commissioner, Muradzikwa, has threatened to resign if Mahoso is retained as CEO of the ZMC. The Zanu (PF) elements would obviously be very glad to see Muradzikwa step down from the ZMC. This must not be allowed to happen. If Zanu (PF) would like to reward Mahoso for a job well done at the MIC they should just appoint him CEO of Jongwe Printers or any one of their bankrupt of their entities.

Good old Mahoso is desperate for a job, especially one with a vehicle as part of the benefits. This is what he is now used to, having experienced it as the infamous MIC chairman who reduced journalism to primitive levels in this country. At his age, there is unlikely to be any sane entity that will consider him for employment, unless he drastically amends his CV. The old man should be advised to retire quietly to his farm, if Zanu (PF) allocated him one. They always allocate farms to their ideologues and Mahoso is one such creature, even though he has little that qualifies as an ideology himself.

Post published in: Opinions

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