ZIMBABWE Media Commission (ZMC) chief executive officer (CEO) Tafataona Mahoso on Wednesday came under fire from Bulawayo journalists who accused him of presiding over the closure of several private newspapers.
Report by Blondie Ndebele Own Correspondent
Mahoso, attending a media stakeholders’ meeting organised by the ZMC board at a city hotel, was accused of victimising publications deemed to be anti-government during his tenure as head of the then Media Information Commission (MIC).
The scribes roundly condemned Mahoso’s iron fist approach which led to the closure of four newspapers – The Daily News and Daily News on Sunday, The Tribune and The Weekly Times.
“During your time at MIC, four newspapers closed and some of them are back again. How do you feel about that? Why are you part of the ZMC yet you continue to write bad about journalists in your Sunday Mail column?” asked a journalist who declined to be named.
Mahoso was saved from further embarrassment following the intervention of fellow ZMC board members Chris Mutsvangwa and Mirriam Sibanda who came to his rescue.
“We will entertain questions that apply to our office (ZMC) because we have not denied anyone a licence. MIC does not exist anymore,” said Mutsvangwa.
Sibanda ordered journalists to direct their questions to ZMC commissioners instead of Mahoso.
“Mahoso is not a commissioner. He is just an employee and a CEO of ZMC,” Sibanda said.
However, journalists kept going back to the subject describing Mahoso as a “media hangman” and demanding that he be ejected from the ZMC.
They demanded that Mahoso should resign or apologise to all journalists who lost their jobs following closure of newspapers at his behest.
Another ZMC board member Chris Mike, however, said they would note concerns of the journalists and look into them.
Meanwhile, speaking during the same meeting, ZMC board chairman Godfrey Majonga said although they were not adequately resourced, they would not increase next year’s accreditation and registration fees for journalists and media houses.