President Robert Mugabe yesterday singled out NewsDay and The Standard newspapers for attack, saying they were opposition media desperately working to destroy Zanu PF.
By Staff Reporter
Addressing the Zanu PF central committee yesterday, Mugabe gagged party members from speaking to NewsDay and The Standard, as his party ups an onslaught on privately-owned papers.
“We have some among us feeding the opposition Press that attacks us. You run to NewsDay and The Standard and so on, those rubbish papers, giving them information that this one has done this and that. It is bad. If you are doing it, stop it,” he said.
“It is not that we don’t want our things to be known, but that we don’t want to create division in the party. If you have any grievance with anyone, keep it in your belly and find a way of saying it within the Zanu PF circles.
“ . . . when you take such things to the opposition Press, you are giving them ammunition. Don’t do that.”
NewsDay and The Standard newspapers are published by the biggest private media house in the country, Alpha Media Holdings, also the publisher of the weekly Zimbabwe Independent.
Mugabe’s remarks come after his spokesperson George Charamba last weekend warned that he would come up with draconian legislation against the private media, accusing it of publishing falsehoods.
On Wednesday, Mugabe’s wife Grace also took the war to the private media, accusing it of fabricating stories to tarnish her image.
Grace said journalists were uneducated, foolish and in need of psychological examination.
Last year, while addressing Zanu PF supporters at Rudhaka Stadium in Marondera, Grace unleashed a vitriolic attack on NewsDay and Daily News “for snooping on her”.
Mugabe’s latest attack could mark yet another beginning of a dark era for the private media.