ZIMBABWE – President Mugabe is a unifier and those thinking that Zanu-PF will split at its 6th National People’s Congress next month are day-dreaming, the party’s deputy director for Information and Publicity, Psychology Maziwisa, has said.
Speaking at a debate on factionalism and role of the media in Harare last Wednesday, Maziwisa said while there was factionalism in Zanu-PF, the media had blown the divisions out of proportion. “People have misjudged the mood in Zanu-PF,” he said. “If anybody thinks that there will be an implosion in Zanu-PF because of what is going on, I think December is going to be your answer. The MDC will implode several times before Zanu-PF disintegrates. President Mugabe is a unifier.”
The debate was organised by the Zimbabwe National Editors Forum.
Maziwisa said factionalism was not unique to Zanu-PF as it was a worldwide phenomenon. He said the media had been fanning hatred in the past weeks instead of safeguarding the national interest. “There are two conflicting interests (in the Constitution), on one hand we have a provision about safeguarding the profession of journalism, that is, freedom of expression. On the other hand there is the need to promote and safeguard the national interest,” Maziwisa said.
“When you look at those two, it is a delicate balance. You have to always look at those from a point of objectivity.
“You have to safeguard that right. Looking at what has been happening in the past few weeks, our feeling as Zanu-PF is some of these issues have been really blown out of proportion and the media have been, instead of safeguarding the national interest, fanning hatred and even taking sides to a degree. We feel that is regrettable and we do not feel that is in the national interest.”
He added: “We feel journalists have certain ethical guidelines that they have to stick to. “Whatever you write, whether it is on factionalism, economy it has to be factual, objective and balanced. “Some of the things coming out have been a matter of serious concern in as far as they have gone to some degree of inciting hatred and even violence in some cases.
“That is to say in circumstances where you feel certain issues need to be reported, as long as you can back them with evidence, there is nothing wrong with that.”
Newly elected MDC-T secretary-general Mr Douglas Mwonzora said Zanu-PF had become “inward (looking), forgetting the people.” As such, he said, the MDC-T would continue with its plans to stage demonstrations countrywide to “force” Government to act on the economic situation.