EMBATTLED Information minister Jonathan Moyo got some good news during the just-ended Zanu PF congress when his department was hailed for abusing the state media to defen
d Zanu PF.
The Zanu PF central committee report says Moyo’s department did a good job by turning the public media into Zanu PF megaphones.
Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), which controls all television and radio stations, is singled out in the report for praise, alongside the party’s newspaper, The Voice.
“It was gratifying that in the last five years, The Voice, together with the public media and the ZBH have held their own against the local and foreign opposition media and pirate radio stations like Capitol Radio, Voice of America’s Studio 7 and Britain’s SW Radio Africa,” the report says.
“This combined effort helped to slow down the merchants of regime change from spreading the hate speech and regime change agenda on Zimbabwe’s soil.”
The Voice and the Southern Times, which is a joint venture between the government-owned Zimpapers and New Era of Namibia, are praised for spreading party-political propaganda.
It said the Southern Times “must be seen as (a reflection of) cooperation between Zanu PF and (Namibia’s) Swapo”.
The report further says: “The Voice has been able to publicise the party’s successes widely, especially in 2004…the papers seem to be carving a niche in readership”.
Moyo is also praised for introducing repressive media laws such as the Broadcasting Services Act and the Access to Information & Protection of Privacy Act, under which three newspapers have been closed and dozens of independent journalists arrested and subjected to malicious prosecution.
In a section, Information & Publicity: The Department and the Press War, Moyo’s department is commended for “exposing (imperialist) machinations and bringing them to the attention of the party members and the public in general”.
“The blatant lies that the imperialists were peddling were causing a lot of damage to the party and the country and had to be countered through the dissemination of factual information,” the report says.