Thursday, July 14, 2011

(ZIMPAPERS) Private media gone to the dogs

Private media gone to the dogs
Sunday, 10 July 2011 01:51 Opinion
By Professor Jonathan Moyo, MP

Has Trevor Ncube’s floundering Zimbabwe Independent gone to the dogs to the point of unashamedly becoming a pathetic MDC-T pamphlet in a desperate bid to secure a good chunk of the three million dirty pounds that the British government started smuggling last month through Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s office to finance treacherously malleable media organisations and NGOs to influence the outcome of the forthcoming harmonised presidential, parliamentary and local government elections as part of the ill-fated regime change agenda of the UK, US, EU and their puppets?

While the answer to this now important question might be up in the air, what is clear is that the time has come to tell the regime change media and its UK, US and EU sponsors in no uncertain terms and without fear or favour that Morgan Richard Tsvangirai is not a fit and proper person to lead this country as head of state and government and commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. No, no, no!

This is not only because Tsvangirai and his embattled treacherous party founded and funded by the British political establishment in 1999 are clear and present threats to national security but also because Tsvangirai is a bling-bling politician with no skill, capacity or vision as proven by his awfully disastrous performance as Prime Minister since February 2009.

Otherwise the question about the Zimbabwe Independent’s political conversion from what should have been — and still can be — an objective, politically neutral, professional, ethical and national weekly newspaper with a business and economic slant into an unmitigated and hopeless MDC-T bulletin; arises in the context of a revealing conclusion in the Editor’s Memo of the paper’s current issue published on Friday July 8 which puts paid to any pretence that the editorial team at the Zimbabwe Independent is politically neutral.

The scandalous propaganda memo which should be handed over to the GPA’s Jomic as one out of a plethora of examples why the so-called independent media needs to be reformed as a matter of urgency concludes that, “It is delusional for any right-thinking Zimbabwean to perceive Tsvangirai as a genuine national security threat. Given his political clout and support, Tsvangirai is indeed a threat to President Robert Mugabe, Zanu-PF, Nyikayaramba and Moyo.

Their political death is nigh!”
There would have been no matter arising if this wishful political mumbo jumbo by an ignorant editor had been published by the information department of the MDC -T or if it had been written by a columnist for the Zimbabwe Independent.

The poor chap is so ignorant as to embarrassingly describe Wikipedia as “the most compelling” source for defining and understanding national security. Trevor Ncube should tell his high school dropouts who apparently have no A-level education that the reason the owners and managers of Wikipedia disclaim the veracity of the content of their website is because it is freely edited by anyone with access to the internet — including high school dropouts who are managing newspapers for illegal regime change business when they should go back to school like everyone else. Wikipedia is therefore just a social network not really different from Facebook or Myspace save that it is popular with high school and sophomoric college students scratching at the surface of scholarship.

To describe such a source as “compelling” in defence of Tsvangirai’s treachery is just stupid. In the circumstances, it is not surprising that an editor with a reputation of being one of the most clueless chaps around blatantly and shamelessly abuses the editorial pages of a paper that claims to be independent by scandalously charging without any cause that the political death of Tsvangiriai’s opponents is nigh.

While some unsuspecting readers of the Zimbabwe Independent might be tempted to take the charge as a fact, there’s no doubt that most will see it for what it is: an uneducated opinion by a clueless editor who does not deserve the title of his position.

While the editor of the Zimbabwe Independent takes himself seriously when nobody else does, and while he had no qualms about appending his name to a scurrilous opinion proclaiming the death of Tsvangirai’s opponents, he must worry about the fact that he has a lot of skeletons in his dirty and smelly closet whose time to be let loose has come. Everybody knows that this hopeless fellow, like his counterpart who manages a decrepit daily that is better left unnamed to protect the innocent souls in its ranks, was not appointed editor of the Zimbabwe Independent because he is qualified in terms of his education and experience but simply because he happened to be just there when the appointment was being made by a publisher who would rather keep the money in his fat pocket than use it to hire and to adequately reward qualified and experienced reporters and editors.

It’s very unfortunate that some allegedly leading newspapers supposedly championing freedom of the Press in the so-called independent media are edited by self-evidently uneducated, unqualified, inexperienced and brown-envelope-seeking editors and journalists whose undeserved positions were acquired from the opportunistic equivalent of lucky pockets which are a joy for kids with nothing to do and a nuisance for adults.

The challenge for our country is that this very serious rot whose evidence is all around us — including the free distribution of newspapers by vendors some of whom are now singing about the racket — is in fact funded by the British government through DFID which is administering a three million pounds anti-Zimbabwe media campaign launched last month and the US government which has a similarly funded programme under Usaid launched much earlier than the DFID programme.

The British government’s sanctimonious claim to Press freedom went up in smoke last week following the spectacular collapse of the 168-year-old Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World which was pivotally instrumental in the making of David Cameron first as the leader of the Conservative party and later as British Prime Minister. Notably, and this is very important to note and endorse, the fall of the News of the World last week in Britain was precisely and only because of unprofessional and unethical conduct of the paper over a sustained period in recent years but particularly since 1969 when it was bought by Murdoch who is the real political force behind Cameron.

The British government pontificated about Press freedom as an alleged human right, exaggerated and misrepresented the false virtues of self-regulation and cynically paraded the British Press Complaints Council (PCC) as a paragon of self-regulation worthy of emulation by developing countries such as Zimbabwe. Parenthetically, Ed Milliband, the leader of the opposition British Labour party, has described the PCC as “a toothless poodle” in the wake of the News of the World scandal.

As you read this, unprecedented initiatives are under way in Britain to set up not only public and criminal inquiries to find out the extent of the abuse of professional and ethical journalistic practices by Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World whose outcome will include the prosecution of journalists some of whom have already been charged by the British police with even more expected to suffer the same fate but also to have a judicial inquiry which will undertake a radical review of how the Press in Britain should professionally and ethically work with particular reference to self-regulation whose future is now in critical jeopardy.

What is instructive about the collapse of the News of the World in Britain is not only that its unprofessional and unethical practices benefited Prime Minister Cameron and his Conservative party by catapulting them from opposition politics into power through foul means under the cover of Press freedom but also that its unprofessional and unethical practices are exactly the kind of equivalent practices that define and which are being used by the so-called independent media in

Zimbabwe with the funding of the British government and its US and EU allies.
In other words, the British and the US governments are funding the institutionalisation and entrenching of unprofessional and unethical media practices in Zimbabwe as part of their illegal regime change agenda against our country.

This is because the two imperialist governments which have wreaked untold havoc and human suffering around the world believe that regime change is not just about changing the leadership of government through elections but about changing the system of governance itself by corrupting some national backbone institutions such as the media, NGOs, churches, civil service, judiciary and the professional class and demonising and ridiculing others such as the military, police and national intelligence under spurious and subversive calls for security sector reforms made at political rallies, in the corrupt media and even in Western capitals as was done by the treacherous Tsvangirai in Spain a few weeks ago.

Some three weeks ago Washington’s Uncle Tom in Harare, Ambassador Charles Ray, whose dirty funding connection with the so-called independent media is evidenced by the crass letters he regularly writes in US papers such as the Zimbabwe Independent, declared that “There is no way you can build a house from the roof. You have to start from the foundation going to the top”. Even fools were most grateful for this statement by Ambassador Ray because it finally made clear that the US and UK regime change agenda in Zimbabwe is not about democratic elections so that Zimbabweans can freely and fairly elect a government of their choice but about destroying Zimbabwe’s house which was built from the blood and sweat of the heroes of our liberation struggle from the First to the Third Chimurenga and the legacy of our national independence.

What the UK, US and EU governments and their allies in the white Commonwealth want is to steal the future of our youth by destroying their history and constructing a so-called new Zimbabwe which Ambassador Ray says should be built “from the foundation to the top”. The Editor’s Memo in the current issue of the Zimbabwe Independent is but an example of the unprofessional and unethical journalism in the so-called independent media intended to “build a new Zimbabwe from the foundation to the top”. But look at the CVs of the people who are supposed to build the so-called new Zimbabwe as defined by Ambassador Ray! Their roster is revolting.

This bad situation is made worse by the fact that the unprofessional and unethical journalism in the so-called independent media is funded by the UK, US, EU and their allies in the white Commonwealth. Even more disgusting is the fact that these unprofessional and unethical practices are foolishly celebrated as Press freedom by the foreign-founded and funded NGO colony whose diabolic objective is to denigrate and subvert Zimbabwe’s nationalistic foundational values which include self-determination, national ownership of our natural resources, independence, Pan African humanity, black advancement through indigenisation, national sovereignty and empowerment of the youth.

What this means is that the Anglo-Saxon world is funding, including but not only through brown envelopes, professional, ethical and moral decadence and massive corruption in our country under the guise of supporting Press freedom as a human right.

Yet there’s no such right. Press freedom is a responsibility and not a human right. A human right must be enjoyed by every human being and not just some like Rupert Murdoch or Trevor Ncube. The Press is not just a business but a source of immense power as shown by the case of the News of the World which is closing down today.

Any and all exercise of power must be regulated. Anyone who believes that the exercise of media power in a modern democratic society should be self-regulated needs help. The experience of the News of the World is enough to close the case as is that of the Editor’s Memo in the current issue of the Zimbabwe Independent whose death wish against Tsvangirai’s political opponents renders the paper a worthless propaganda pamphlet which from now onwards should be prepared to dance to political music without claiming to be a professional or ethical newspaper.

On another related point, there was a self-indulgent claim in the Editor’s Memo which sought to defend the indefensible by insinuating that this writer “now claims Tsvangirai is a national security (threat) when just a few years ago he accused President Robert Mugabe of the same”.

This statement proves that this editor is either intellectually dishonest or intellectually stupid. In his defence, it is also possible that he is neither of the two given that the unprofessional and unethical practices of the Zimbabwe Independent are in fact funded by the UK, US, EU and their allies in the white Commonwealth. It is primitive wishful thinking for anybody who wants to be taken seriously to suggest that this writer has ever drawn parallels of treachery between President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai.

Yes, as demonstrated in the article illegally reproduced on Page 15 of the current issue of the Zimbabwe Independent which also carries the scandalous Editor’s Memo, this writer criticised President Mugabe in 2006 under the argument that the then biting hyperinflation and related issues were creating a very serious leadership challenge in the country which put Zimbabwe’s survival at great risk.

There’s nothing in that or any article by this writer which says that President Mugabe was by definition a threat to national security which Tsvangirai most definitely is in a very dangerous and unacceptable way which is why he is not a fit and proper person to be head of State and Government and Commander-in- Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.

This writer is very clear, quite aware and proud of the fact that he has sometimes criticised his party and national leaders while he has also acknowledged them as his permanent heroes as he did, for example, in his election manifesto when he stood as an independent candidate for the 2005 parliamentary election in which he clearly and unequivocally declared President Mugabe and the late Vice-Presidents Joshua Nkomo, Simon Muzenda and Joseph Msika along with the late Josiah Tongogara and Herbert Chitepo as his founding and permanent heroes.

Indeed, the record will show that this writer has vigorously criticised his party on a range of policy issues including the agenda to establish a legislated one party state which was eventually abandoned; the adoption of the World Bank and IMF-sponsored trade liberalisation and structural adjustment programmes whose catastrophic implications paved the way for the rise of treacherous parties such as the MDC formations; the party’s half-hearted pursuit prior to 2000 of radical land reform in accordance with the goals of the liberation struggle and the party’s hesitation and failure to bring the appropriate and necessary closure to the Gukurahundi madness among other national issues of importance.

The criticism has been affectionate in that it has always been on the basis of the national project, putting Zimbabwe first and above everything and anyone, to consolidate the gains of our liberation struggle and never to negate those gains.

This writer has never ever been on the side of imperialists or criticised the national project from an imperialistic or regime change point of view. Never, ever! While there’s abundant evidence of this writer’s occasional criticism of the nationalist leadership on the record which the sponsored Zimbabwe Independent is wont to selectively dig up, it is also true that the same criticism is overwhelmed by this writer’s permanent admiration and respect of the same leadership also on the record which the sponsored regime change media such as the Zimbabwe Independent will never reproduce.

In fact, they’ll never reproduce this writer’s articles on Tsvangirai. This is because they know only too well that there’s nothing that this writer has written in support of their wishy washy and irredeemable sell-out whose future is now trapped in the Dhlakama syndrome because his political DNA is quintessentially a threat to Zimbabwe’s national security given his massive hand-holding by the UK and the US against Zimbabwe. It is also now clear that, because of its origins as a party founded and funded by the erstwhile British colonial power, the treacherous MDC has reached its Renamo limit such that it will never ever do better than it did in the March 29 2008 harmonised elections.

Those who do not believe this should fasten their seat belts and get ready for a bumpy road ahead with the assurance that there’s no way Zanu-PF is going to lose an election in which the UK, US, EU and their allies in the white Commonwealth and local puppets once again field Tsvangirai as their Dhlakama and his MDC as their Renamo.

Finally, it is very interesting that the regime change media is more concerned about what they imagine is this writer’s reading of the current direction of the political wind than their own reading about which they apparently have zero confidence.

In Rwanda, opponents were dehumanised as “cockroaches”, while the Zimbabwe Independent’s editor prefers “chameleons” as if he does not know that the difference is the same.

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