HomeLocal NewsTsvangirai stops Mugabe jingles

Tsvangirai stops Mugabe jingles

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The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) was yesterday ordered to stop playing and beaming jingles that promote President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF on its radio and television channels forthwith, following pressure from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Insiders at Pockets Hill confirmed receiving the directive and by last night the jingles had been struck off the air. Government sources last night said PM Tsvangirai yesterday protested to President Mugabe saying the political advertisements were offensive and unwarrantedly spiteful.
The songs, performed by Mbare Chimurenga Choir, urged the Zanu PF presidium not to relinquish power and proclaimed President Mugabe as the absolute ruler.
Part of the lyrics say: “MuZimbabwe tauya kusimudzira nyika yatakatora nehusiku. (In Zimbabwe we have come to develop the country that we took by night).
Toitasei? (What do we do?) Kubatana pamwechete (Let us unite) Zanu PF takabatana (In Zanu PF we are united) Toziva vaMugabe varikutonga (We know President Mugabe is ruling). The premier argued that the jingles embodied messages that undermined the letter and spirit of the inclusive government. The sources said President Mugabe did not object, a surprise response that cleared the way for the ban to take immediate effect.
“The adverts will be stopped immediately from television and radio after it was agreed that they were undermining the Global Political Agreement and the inclusive government,” said a government source.
“President Mugabe did not object and ordered that the adverts be stopped from being played on television and radio.”
George Charamba, President Mugabe’s spokesperson and permanent secretary for the information ministry, said he was still to be informed of the latest developments surrounding the matter.
“I don’t know about it,” Charamba said last night. “I have not yet been advised.”
But government sources said the decision to stop the jingles was taken yesterday.
“There was no debate over the issue because President Mugabe was quick to agree with PM Tsvangirai,” said another source.
The jingles, played after every 30 minutes on ZBC’s two television channels and the four radio stations, had sparked outrage from the public who accused Zanu PF of bringing back hateful jingles that dominated the airwaves between 2000 and 2005 when Jonathan Moyo was still Information minister.
The two MDC political parties last week complained that the jingles fanned disunity, poisoned the spirit of inclusivity and eroded the intentions of the inclusive government.
“It’s like we are in an election mode and we take great exception to Zanu PF taking jingles to national television without payment,” said MDC-T spokesperson Nelson Chamisa who threatened to release his party’s jingles should ZBC continue airing Zanu PF jingles.
“There is no room for offensive jingles in the current political environment,” said Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the MDC party led by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.
“Such jingles counter the spirit of inclusivity being sought by the government of national unity.”

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