Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu has attacked journalists whom he said were writing negatively about pro-Zanu PF jingles played by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).
Shamu said by referring to the “songs” as jingles, journalists were deliberately misleading Zimbabweans.
“Journalists are misleading the country by writing falsehoods,” Shamu said. “I cannot write that a lorry is a tractor or a horse is a donkey. I should say ‘No! No! Let me investigate’. These are not jingles. They are songs,” Shamu said.
The continued airing of the jingles on both radio and television has been condemned by both MDC parties who say they undermine the spirit of inclusivity in the government.
The jingles were composed by Mbare Chimurenga Choir.
ZBC has continued to play the jingles despite a decision by Cabinet for them to stop doing so.
Shamu, who is also Zanu PF political commissar, said journalists were undermining their profession by continuously referring to Nyatsoteerera and Ndikusetere Team as jingles.
“These are songs (because) they run for five to 10 minutes. Jingles are short (and) they are normally done by advertising agencies and they run for about 10 to 30 seconds. We are undermining our own profession,” Shamu said.
He said there was nothing wrong with the jingles because they were not attacking anybody or inciting political violence.
“If these songs were attacking somebody or calling for the killing of people I would understand (but) these are songs of encouragement which also enrich our culture,” he said.
Shamu said local journalists were fond of promoting foreign music at the expense of local talent.
“You are celebrating foreign artistes. When ours come up with their productions, you condemn them,” Shamu said. “We are and we will always come up with liberation songs,” Shamu said.
“The country did not come on a silver platter. These songs were part of the struggle, just like an AK (rifle) and bullets. No one will stop Zanu PF from coming up with liberation songs.”
The national broadcaster will soon start airing new pro-Zanu PF songs in Ndebele on national television stations and radio stations. Reports said the Ndebele songs were being composed by a Bulawayo-based theatre group and the Zanu PF commissariat.