Wednesday, September 25, 2013

(HERALD ZW) Charamba dismisses NewsDay story
September 2, 2013 Shingirai Huni Local News
Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity
Peter Matambanadzo Senior Reporter

POLICE have dismissed as false a story published by the NewsDay at the weekend claiming that police officers chanted Zanu-PF slogans at the Harare Agricultural Show, insinuating that the force was partisan.

Chief police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charamba denied the claims by the NewsDay, whose editor was recently suspended for peddling falsehoods, that the members of the force chanted Zanu-PF slogans at the agricultural show that was officially opened by President Mugabe on Friday.

She said the story in the NewsDay’s Saturday edition headlined “Cops chant Zanu-PF slogans, . . . as state aligned organisation steal the show,” was meant to further the interests of the private daily newspaper’s paymasters and to confuse Zimbabweans.

“The ZRP is a patriotic force and will not be perturbed by reporters who bootlick their paymasters and write falsehoods and frame stories to confuse the generality of Zimbabweans. After all is the ZRP not allowed to celebrate when they win gold medals?” Snr Asst Comm Charamba asked.

The report came a day after NewsDay suspended its editor Constantine Chimakure for allegedly writing falsehoods.

This was after the newspaper recently published two false stories in succession concerning former South African president Cde Thabo Mbeki and MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, which stories the group said did not conform to set ethical standards.

NewsDay on Wednesday and Friday last week carried two stories under the headlines “Mbeki speaks on Zim polls, chaotic land reform” and “Mugabe offers Tsvangirai VP Post” which have both been denied by Cde Mbeki and Mr Tsvangirai.

Chimakure was suspended to facilitate investigations into unethical journalistic practice.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba said the story authored by John Nyashanu was misguided and the police never chanted Zanu-PF slogans.

“The Zimbabwe Republic Police sports persons are athletes at heart and in flesh and celebrates victory through a Zimbabwean symbol,” she said.

“A fist is a symbol of black power and it was in line with our winning of three gold medals at the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show exhibition. A fist is an international recognised symbol of black power.”
Snr Asst Comm Charamba said from time immemorial up to the time of the first Olympic Games, the first African to win gold in athletics, Jesse Owens, a black athlete was disqualified after raising a fist in celebration.

“We all talk to God in different ways. We all pray in different ways but for the African sports person, he gets his inspiration and energy from God to compete and celebrates by shooting his right fist to heaven to say ‘God take the Glory’ and the Zimbabwe Republic Police is no exception,” she said.

Snr Asst Comm Charamba also said the Zimbabwe Agricultural Show Society was not a state organisation as inferred by the story.

“This was evidenced by the attendance of countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe who were also exhibiting at the show,” Snr Asst Comm Charamba said.

“The ZRP won on merit contrary to Nyashanu’s wild assumptions. After all, who is he to determine what police should do?”

The police chief spokesperson said there was no need for the police to bootlick President Mugabe as alleged by Nyashanu, but to honour and respect the President who is the Head of State and Government and Commander- in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and guest of honour at the occasion.

“Perhaps there is a better judgment that John Nyashanu should learn from his suspended Editor, Constantine Chimakure, for writing falsehoods,” she said.

“He is certainly following the footsteps of his discredited mentor. What a shame to the media fraternity!”

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