Gwanda Senator Japhet Dube last week attacked NewsDay and Studio 7 — a radio station run by exiled Zimbabwean journalists — for allegedly campaigning against payment of outstanding allowances for legislators.
Dube made the remarks while debating a motion moved by MDC-T non-constituency Senator Morgan Komichi on what he termed “unprofessional media activities”.
“If we look at newspapers or (listen to) ZBC, Daily News, the Chronicle and (read) NewsDay, we realise that there are some papers that are biased.
Maybe it is a paper for divisions and should be given such a name,” Dube said.
“If you have children and there comes another child claiming to be part of that family, that child causes problems — this is the case with these papers,” he said. NewsDay started publishing in June 2010 and has emerged as the country’s leading daily paper.
“Most of the time Studio 7 is talking about (President Robert) Mugabe. If there was a tangible law, some of these papers would be closed.
“ZBC has reasons to be there because it is national, but Studio 7 has caused so many problems to the extent MPs were not given the money that we were promised because of the fact that they went ahead to claim MPs want money,” Dube indicated.
MPs are demanding allowances backdated to 2008 after the unity government failed to pay them.
But the principals in the unity government — President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara — recommended that the government must only start paying allowances this month.
“Studio 7 has destroyed our hope and whether you are Zanu PF or MDC-T, Studio 7 has destroyed you too,” Dube added.
“Studio 7 claims that all current MPs love money and that is why MPs do not want to conclude the constitution-making process — because they are looting.” Dube described independent media as “small houses” and State media as original wives.
“As men, we have to support our wives before our small houses. ZBC is your wife and Studio 7 the small house, so start supporting ZBC,” Dube said.