Political Reporter- Simba Moyo

The Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services Christopher Mushowe’s days at the helm of the ministry seem to be numbered, after President Robert Mugabe expressed his displeasure on how he is running ZANU PF’s mouthpiece (State media).

Mugabe recently fumed at him as to why the state papers and national broadcaster were excited in reporting the infighting in his party, just the same way as the so-called pro-opposition parties private media.

Mugabe is unhappy with his current minister of information for having failed to reign in his dogs.

“I read in the papers hanzi Kasukuwere is what and what there are articles about him, Kasukuwere aah nhai VaMushowe chii ichocho, (I read a lot of stories about him, please Mushowe what kind of a thing is this?) The President lambasted him.

He also warned (The Herald) his mouthpiece, for not acting as he expected; “Let’s do away with this noise, if The Herald is to act like the opposition, then we are forced to wonder if it is still a paper,” he chided.

The state paper invited the wrath of Mugabe after it allegedly got itself involved in the succession fights that is rocking the ruling party, exposing themselves and their minister in the process. This would see heads rolling and changes in these two institutions.

The conduct is against the media’s expected norms, as journalists are expected to stay out of the stories they tell, once they take sides then it would be hard for them to be objective and balanced.

Commenting on media defence mechanisms MISA Zimbabwe Advocacy Officer Thabani Moyo recently said it was important for journalists to defend themselves by being impartial and always resort to the ethics of objectivity and balanced when reporting, as this reduces planned attacks on the media in general.

As the succession wars escalates in the ruling party, the state media had been on over-drive leaking and publishing ZANU PF’s squabbles and in-house information much to the embarrassment of Mugabe who is now failing to control his subordinates.

The President would rather want his mouthpiece to do a Public Relations job for him by painting a picture that portrays he is in control and that everything is well in the party, than doing the reverse.

Some now believe that Mugabe might be considering replacing Mushowe with Moyo, who excelled in making state media a propaganda machine during his reign at the ministry.

“Mugabe is not known of making empty threats and would be considering to re-deploy Jonathan Moyo into the ministry, who proved good at making sure that state papers toy the ZANU PF line,” said one analyst.

He said Mugabe is not happy with the way his papers are exposing his weaknesses to the public.

Even the Minister of Information and Communication Technology Supa Mandiwanzira once said a media house cannot attack its owner even if he does something bad. Speaking at a media conference recently; “Trust me there would be no article that attacks Mandiwanzira at ZiFM Stereo even if I have done something wrong,” he said giving reference to his radio station.

Meanwhile, because of the infighting in ZANU PF the state media is attacking its owner, as the feuding parties try to settle personal and political scores. After being blocked out, Moyo has since resorted to twitter as his medium to air his views.