Who exactly is this Radical Soldier? By the time we need to write his obituary....it will be too late to ask. Please also check www.zimfinalpush.blogspot.com and related websites.

The rise and fall of Rhodesia etc...




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Previous Postings Archived Monthly

Tuesday, 10 April 2007


The folly of shooting the messenger
Sunday opinion by Bill Saidi

IT'S now five years since Jonathan Moyo persuaded President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF that he could bring "sanity" to the Zimbabwean media.
Mugabe may not have agreed with him. After all, only a few years before, this man was one of his implacable critics.
But he must have decided he had little to lose. By that time, the old Mugabe magic had evaporated into Zvimba dust.
Could this tall, young man with the premature stoop and the balding head tame the independent media beast, always snapping at his heels?
That, by the way, presupposed the media beast was foaming at the mouth, stark raving bonkers and needed to be tamed with a straitjacket or massive doses of tranquilizers or a blast from a bazooka.
In short, this beast had to leave The Dear Leader alone or join his sycophants.
So, Moyo, on his trusty white charger — let's say the Media and Information Commission — would smite this dragon with one stroke of his trusty sword and send it reeling into the Gehena of all media monsters.
Moyo has since disowned AIPPA, which leaves us to wonder: who was the Svengali — Moyo or George Charamba?
The grand plan was to prevent the image of the government and Zanu PF from further damage after the land reform debacle, the 2000 parliamentary and the 2002 Presidential election fiascos.
Earlier the ruling party had suffered a humiliating defeat in the constitutional referendum, for which they had specifically hired the same Moyo as their No 1 spin-doctor.
That they considered him to have the right stuff for the job of Information Minister, after what appeared to be a wretched PRO job in the referendum, must count as one of the great mysteries about Zanu PF and Mugabe which we may never understand in this or our next lifetimes.
It is not cruel to believe that Moyo/Mugabe were convinced AIPPA and their tongue-lashing of the independent media would soon have all journalists eating out of the palms of their hands, or grovelling at their feet, in abject subservience.
Just to demonstrate how he intended to deal with any recalcitrant news people, Moyo sued some of them for defamation.
Then he himself libelled them as "terrorists".
There were other inflammatory exchanges. Moyo was discovering the dragon he thought he had slain still breathed fire.
To flex his muscles with the foreign media, he virtually banned the British Broadcasting Corporation from operating in Zimbabwe, which was not at war with the British.
With his waspish tongue, Moyo antagonised both the local and the foreign media. His contempt for both seemed fathomless, as if they had done him a personal wrong. It was almost inevitable that this mutual antipathy would lead to an explosion; the small printing press of the independent publishing company was blown up.
The government propaganda was that the company had done the deed for the insurance money.
But more was to come; in 2003, the government banned two independent papers through AIPPA. The two papers had not been registered as required under AIPPA; there have been endless arguments about the merits of the government action, as there have been on why the publishing company did not register with the MIC.
Before the closure, armed police visited the newspaper offices in the CBD of Harare, in broad daylight.
Two other newspapers were banned under AIPPA. Still the image of the ruling party and the government did not improve.
In 2005, with only the independent weeklies providing something of a fair and balanced coverage of the campaign, Zanu PF still failed to win back all the 57 seats it had lost to the MDC in 2000 — and for which the government had blamed one independent daily newspaper.
But the worst was yet to come; with only The Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard telling "the other side" of the Zimbabwean story, Mugabe was hauled before his Southern African Development Community (Sadc) peers in Dar es Salaam.
"Grilled" is a relative word. The government would prefer "asked to explain". But the fact is that he was summoned to Dar es Salaam to explain why he was allowing his political opponents to be brutalised by his police and by other unidentified people suspiciously acting as if they were in his or his government's payroll.
In truth, the five-year-old AIPPA has achieved precious little in preventing the truth about Zimbabwe from getting out. Even after banning four newspapers and throwing hundreds of journalists out of employment and into exile, the image of this government as a pariah state is as universally recognised, as it was when AIPPA was promulgated in 2002.
The lesson is clear: the pen remains mightier than the sword, even if the ink now costs an arm and a leg. Also, shooting the messenger is a definite no-no if you believe the truth can be suppressed permanently.


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VaRadical Soldier ku Joburg pa"Anti-Mugabe" demo!

VaRadical Soldier ku Joburg pa"Anti-Mugabe" demo!
Tichasvika chete!

"....zvama 'dhisnyongoro'....!"

"....zvama 'dhisnyongoro'....!"
The same demo in JHB...more on www.fozc.blogspot.com