Mushohwe threatens ‘critical’ private media

MEDIA, Information and Broadcasting Services minister, Christopher Mushohwe has threatened to tighten screws on private media houses deemed too critical of government programmes.

BY KENNETH NYANGANI/STEPHEN CHADENGA

Christopher Mushowe
Christopher Mushowe

Mushohwe told NewsDay in Mutare on Saturday that they were considering urging all Zanu PF supporters to shun and withdraw their advertising support to all media houses that were critical of government.

“I have tried all the means to accommodate all the media houses. We are all in the media sector. I have been on record saying that media houses should play a role in building our nation,” he said

“Let’s not play these political games. Don’t push me against the walls. You know private newspapers are surviving under the consideration of President Robert Mugabe. Do you know we can simply say that no Zanu PF supporters should buy your newspaper and that no (State) institution or parastatal will place an advert [in private newspapers]. You will simply collapse.”

Mushohwe ordered the private and public media to stop fanning Zanu PF factional wars or allow themselves to be used as battlegrounds by ruling party political gladiators at the expense of national interests.

Last week, he made similar remarks while officially launching AB Communications’ 98.4 Midlands FM regional station in Gweru, where he warned the media against destroying societal values.

“In the same vein, I would want to caution our friends in the media — both electronic and print — that while it is a right, it is not a licence to propagate hate speech and spreading unsubstantiated and malicious stories about our country,” the government spokesperson said.

“The electronic, print and social media should not be used as arsenal or battle ground for political or factional battles.”

In recent months, the media, particularly the State-run, has been used as a battle ground for Zanu PF factional fights, with rivals trading insults almost on a daily basis, as struggles to succeed President Robert Mugabe intensify.

“I want to remind you that radio, television and other media platforms should know that their role is exclusively to inform, entertain and not, as I have said, be used as whips by political gladiators,” Mushohwe said.

He said if left unchecked, the media, particularly radio, could end up churning out propaganda that fuels genocide, as happened in Rwanda and in the former Yugoslavia.

Meanwhile, Mushohwe said the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe would revise the 40km radius provision to enable newly-licensed commercial radio stations to expand their operations to cover more areas.

Matter of fact

In our print version, we erroneously captioned a picture of Information minister Christopher Mushohwe as President Robert Mugabe.

We sincerely apologise to both Mugabe and Mushohwe for the embarrassment caused.Editor

11 Comments

  1. Very stupid. By the same token, why should non-Zanu PF supporters pay taxes to this “govt” of idiots? Why should they pay TV/Radio licenses? Let your “unemployed and 100%-dependent constituency that waits for handouts pay for those.

  2. Peace loving person

    Does our government have programs?, and why tighten now on private media towards elections?

  3. Muchuva Mutiusinazita

    shallow brains displayed for the whole world to see…its a shame.

  4. We are very used to your threats whenever we are heading towards elections, so we are not afraid of u come what may, private media is therefor to balance rubbish that is always uttered by state media.

  5. What are these self-expression parameters regarded to as critical? Does exposing the regime’s failures and/or repression amount to this category? Whereas Zimbos have to balance the freedom of expression, let the govt not be a defeatist of the same democracy it (purportedly) safeguards.

  6. Trying to black mail the media is disgraceful and unbecoming for a minister.Shame.

  7. Mushohwe seem to not understand what he is saying.Government is a public instrument,is only intended to be used for public purposes,it does not belong to Mugabe or Mushohwe,if the two & friends are scary (afraid of) of public criticism or rebuke, they must resign to private life.Itz them who choz to be in public institutions for their own liking or their private benefits.The main document or guide line of the people of this land,called the constitution enshrines clauses within it clearly spelling out public rights for freedom of speech &the right to hold their gvt accountable.If Mushohwe is now tired of n public criticism or chastisement must simply leave office & resign to private life,we will continue to hold the right to criticise n one who choose to come to our gvt whether thru the private media or the public media.In mature democracies like the USA,the national broadcaster can convine panelists openly critical of the sitting head of state or gvt in fora or talk shows of real issues affecting their country.So is the normal way,so Mushohwe shld not complain.In fact the public media must b the leader in allowing platforms critical of the gvt of the day &the private media would as a resuilt not seem to b committing n sin.The fact that the private media is seen as going ahead of the public media or the leader in championing our democracy is what seem to Mushohwe as erroneous

  8. Mushohwe must only allow critical fora of the sitting gvt at public media first, as a leader in a democracy,even at the national broadcaster,with panelist even fr the opposition cycles to keep the public informed of all they might need in taking the country forward-whoz the best candidate to take our country forward- not to give the people screwed information, inorder to fully conform to the public media’s mandate-thus being a leader in a democracy.Then the private media is only a follower not leader in championing democracy.So no problem of the kind of Mushohwe’s

  9. Don’tpush me against the walls. You know private newspapers are surviving under the consideration of President Robert Mugabe. Do you know we can simply say that no Zanu PF supporters should buy your newspaper and that no (State) institution or parastatal will place an advert [in private newspapers]. You will simply collapse.” This Mushohwe guy does not understand democracy or he pretends not to. Only despots and their Bootlickers do not want to be criticized.

  10. “Don’t push me against the walls. You know private newspapers are surviving under the consideration of President Robert Mugabe. Do you know we can simply say that no Zanu PF supporters should buy your newspaper and that no (State) institution or parastatal will place an advert [in private newspapers]. You will simply collapse.” This Mushohwe guy does not understand democracy or he pretends not to. Only despots and their Bootlickers do not want to be criticized.

  11. “You know private newspapers are surviving under the consideration of President Robert Mugabe”.
    Mushohwe is a fkn fkn idiot. No, newspapers’ freedoms are enshrined in the country’s constitution, not at the mercy of one man. No wonder his daughter took nude pictures to spite him, who wouldn’t with such type of mentality. What he doesn’t seem to get is ple like Moyo are fighting factional battles with Mugabe’s blessing, even though Bob pretends he wants that war ended. Moyo has been shunned out of State media and is now running to private media, ironically the same media houses he tried to destroy when he was in Mushohwe’s role. So this is exactly the panacea of Zimababwe’s problems, all decisions are made to retain power, not because they make any sense. Where are these morons from and God please spare us this evil. Enough.

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