Mnangagwa got it wrong on vetting journalists

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PRESIDENT EMMERSON MNANGAGWA

On Thursday evening, Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa called a Press conference, as the factional fights in Zanu PF reached a tipping point.

Regrettably, Mnangagwa decided that only State media journalists should cover the Press conference, precipitating a bizarre sequence of events where private media, including NewsDay, were kicked out of the presser.

Why Mnangagwa should choose State media only is quite strange and kicking out reporters is even more outlandish, because literally as soon as he had finished his statement, it found its way to social media and NewsDay even reported on it.

If Mnangagwa wanted to speak to State media journalists only, then he should have sent the statement directly to them, rather than going out of his way to call what was supposed to be a Press conference.

It is quite ironic that the private media had Mnangagwa’s statement on the front page and his darlings, State media, could only afford him a corner in the inside pages, with page one reserved for his blasting by First Lady Grace Mugabe.

We have not taken a side in Zanu PF’s factional wars and have balanced our coverage and we find it offensive that a person with the stature of a Vice-President can choose to be petty to a point of wanting to speak to one set of journalists and leave out others.

Were we to do the same, and say we will not report on his stories, we would be accused of unfairness and being captured by a faction of Zanu PF, when that is not the case.

Mnangagwa is the Vice-President of Zimbabwe and his Press conferences ought to be open to every journalist, as long as they are accredited.

As a Vice-President, he is a public official and should be accessible to everyone, even if he does not like them, it comes with the job and he should understand that.

Journalists at the Press conference were also reportedly “vetted”, another grossly unconventional way of doing things.

As per law, which Mnangagwa – as he is responsible for the Justice ministry and should know – journalists are required to be registered by the Zimbabwe Media Commission, making the vetting at his Press conference quite befuddling.

Mnangagwa is going through a trying time in Zanu PF and we are not joining the bandwagon calling for his firing and we will not kick a man when he is down.

However, his tribulations do not mean he should segregate journalists and he should be open to everyone.

7 COMMENTS

  1. It shows that he is very parochial and petty and thus would struggle to be president of the whole nation for which office his rabid supporters have been canvassing for him.

  2. Comment…As far as threats are concerned it’s dr mai threatening anything and everything I changed channels after her demons began doing their rounds last night. but how long like the late rapper tupac sang will we mourn her?I doubt if many people will especially those south afri
    cans bhora mudziva is
    inevitable whether she is VaMugabe”s wife or his pain in the neck

  3. What do you expect from ED? Imagine this is the guy who wants to be president of the republic. Not sure about that.

  4. why so much concerned about this 75 year old man . At that age the media must not focus on him . We need to focus on supporting the new generation of the 50s and not someone with a ZANU idealogy.
    I think as Zimbabweans we focusing on the wrong things. Better give more coverage on the opposition and give them better ideas to lead our sick country

  5. He is not presidential material period! You can even see it by the manner he handled this issue. I once said it and wil always say so.

  6. He is so confused now showing more lizard characteristics than the ngwena myth. It’s great to note that the so-called “most powerful” people in Zimbabwe are actually afraid and cannot sleep. I’ll drink to that!!

  7. Once Sis Emmer is given the boot, history has it that he will be a persona non grata at his beloved ZBC and Herald. As Mujuru, Mutsvanga etc have done before him, he will come running to this same private media for solace. I suggest that you return the favour by vetting him them slamming the door right in his face.

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