The Herald strikes again

The world woke up this morning to read from The Herald that Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai bribed editors of the independent Press.

The paper claimed that Tsvangirai was trying to buy positive reporting so as to salvage his battered image. What is worrying here is not that the Herald lied.

That has always been the trademark of Zimpapers. What is surprising is that the paper confirmed a widely held view that The Herald newsroom personnel do not even take their work seriously.

This is because they have no control of the paper's content since print ready copies seem to be faxed either the Shake-shake building, Kaguvi or George Charamba's office. The evidence to back the above claim is abundant.

Can anyone imagine how a story that never cited any source managed to see the light of the day? There is not even any attempt to mention either anonymous or well placed sources. Even if the paper had concealed sources from the media house, what justification would they give because Tsvangirai has not potential to victimize employees of private media companies?

To make it worse, the Herald never hesitated to employ declaratory sentences in the story which were spewed out as facts. This was despite the fact that the Daily news Editor, Stanley Gama and, Zimbabwe Independent Editor, Constantine Chimakure, the only credible sources that The Herald bothered to solicit a comment from had denied the story. The paper did the unthinkable: proceeded to depict imaginary malice as facts.

"I do not know anything about that. I saw that story for the first time on the ZBC website," Gama was quoted as saying. Chimakure said: "I am not allowed to speak on behalf of the company, but all I can say is that I last saw the PM in 2001." Other Editors Nevanji Madanhire of the Standard Newspaper and Hama Saburi of The Financial Gazette were 'conveniently' unreachable.

Chris Mutsvangwa, Media Commissioner Ambassador, was prominently given space to condemn a non-existent anomaly. The Editors and the Prime Minister were vituperated for a crime that never was. Mutsvangwa is a Zanu PF Pharisee who has served in various diplomatic postings including South Africa.

Tsvangirai's bravery has elicited positive media coverage. There is no need for him to buy it. His deeds are surely enough to gain public sympathy. The media is merely reflecting that. Tsvangirai's MDC doesn't own a newspaper or radio or television station but receives positive global headlines every day. This is simply because munhu anevanhu. Zanu PF is the only Political Party in Zimbabwe that has to resort to desperate methods of drumming up good publicity.

To claim that Tsvangirai bribed editors in the absence of a police case, court conviction, complainant or proof is recklessness of the first order.

I don't doubt even for a second that Herald personnel is aware of the fact that readers have ceased to believe whatever they write about Tsvangirai and MDC. People read a paper to get informed and any overt diversion from this role renders the paper untrustworthy. Tsvangirai's credibility is unassailable by the Herald. The readers are very much aware of the context in which the toxic stories are discharged. In actual fact everyone is now reading The Herald in reverse.

What the Herald reports about Tsvangirai or MDC is always the opposite of the situation of the ground. It is actual a badge of honour to be attacked by the Herald. The Locadia Tembo saga and his gay utterances are just too trivial to knock out the high esteem which The PM is viewed by the Zimbabwe electorate. The Herald can fill hectares of their newspaper space with columns, stories, side-bars, opinion pieces and features denigrating Baba Edwin, but readers' reactions will always be: "Idzi inhema idzi."

Post published in: Opinions

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