NewsDay Editor strikes back

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There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle that shines it, or the mirror that reflects it, says Edith Wharton.

At NewsDay, we have decided to be both, but forces of darkness are determined to eclipse that resolve.

The break-in at the NewsDay premises by “thieves” and the theft of my laptop and hard drives was a routine strike, but it’s a pinprick in our resolve to inform, educate and entertain the media-undernourished Zimbabweans.

No amount of theft will deter us from this resolve. If anything, it strengthens such resolve.

For decades, the people of Zimbabwe have been denied the right to information and diversity of views by draconian dictates and have suffered unimaginable deprivation, while their compatriots in more progressive jurisdictions, the world over, were basking in media freedom.

Media organisations have been raided, bombed, closed down and media practitioners arrested on the most spurious of reasons. Some have even been killed, all in a bid to deny Zimbabweans the basic human right to information.

Zimbabweans have fought an arduous struggle for the right to media freedom against a determined hegemony and just as the fog is beginning to lift and some respite filtering in, the goons are at it again!

We find it interesting that in this day and age, when computers are ubiquitous and no longer a novelty, “thieves” find the media organisation on the third floor of a well-guarded building attractive to pounce on, and not to steal anything else, but my computer and hard drives.

This is not the first time “thieves” have targeted media organisations to steal hard drives, of course, it’s been almost routine. What we would ask is, what’s the attraction in stealing media organisations’ hard drives and computers?

What makes such hard drives and computers more attractive than similar computers with similar hard drives all over town?

Even the most basic intelligence will point to the reason why.

There is still a determined resolve out there to ensure that Zimbabweans are kept forever in the dark.

An uninformed nation is a docile nation and susceptible to manipulation.

But how can such a nation develop alongside progressive nations, or at all, if it remains hostage to forces of darkness, or hostage to those that, for some weird logic, think that only their view should prevail?

How can we have national conversations when some among us stalk and pounce on media organisations simply to ensure that the capacity to inform and educate is curtailed as much as possible? What kind of nation would that be?

If the motive behind the pouncing and theft of hard drives and my laptop at the NewsDay premises was to sabotage the paper, . . . well, it didn’t work, the paper has been on the streets, uninterrupted. If, on the other side, the idea was to steal information, it is information we would publish, in any event.

So, instead of scaling our walls like Spiderman or Superman, risking injury, why not simply make a request for the publishing of what it is that the “thieves” wanted, and we would gladly publish?

If, on the other hand, it’s just for the quick buck of selling hard drives, we could point such thieves to our junk-heap where we keep disused computers with their hard drives, perhaps they could turn themselves into more useful members of society as refuse disposal persons.

Still in all, we are still here and will be, for a long time to come, writing and informing, educating and entertaining as best we can, theft or no theft.