HARARE – Zimbabweans have hit out at The Herald and The Sunday Mail in Harare for the heartless attack on the late decorated military commander General Solomon Mujuru after weekend reports suggested of an impending electoral pact between MDC and Zimbabwe People First (ZimPF).
The MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai is arguably the largest opposition party in the country followed by ZimPF led by former Vice President Joice Mujuru, whose husband Gen. Mujuru died in a mysterious fire five years ago.
Readers felt The Herald’s lead story on Tuesday titled “Gen Mukuru’s role in union exposed” smacked of insensitiveness and malice from a party and government panicking over the intended coalition.
In its story, The Herald insinuated that the planned coalition of the two parties was a project initiated by the late General and that it “had the backing of Western countries who felt that the MDC-T needed someone with liberation war credentials to enhance its power bid against President Mugabe.”
The paper alleged that Wikileaks had revealed that on more than once occasion the late general had driven his wife to meet the American ambassador with the knowledge of President Mugabe or the government in general and described the meeting as a conspiracy.
The Sunday Mail took over from where The Herald had left and published a sscandalous story that suggested that the former Vice President was a woman of lose morals who underservedly rose through the ranks because of her sexual escapades.
Titled “Dr Joice Mujuru unmasked,” the story stated that Dr Mujuru was responsible for the death of war commander Joseph Chipembere who was killed just after being inimate with the then young female combatant.
However, readers felt the commentary which was paneled as news story on The Herald’s front page was in bad taste especially coming on the 5th anniversary of the late Gen.’s death. Gen Mujuru died in a mysterious inferno at his Beatrice farm on 15 August 2011.
Comments posted on The Herald’s on-line edition revealed readers’ anger over the propaganda story.
Jojo Wamoyo said; “What this story is telling us is Zimbabweans can’t think for themselves. Whoever the source is, he/she needs deliverance.”
Another reader also insinuated that The Herald could be aware of the Gen.’s cause of death. Writing by the name Mabaleka, one reader said “if The Herald and so called “good authoritative source” was aware of the meetings by General and MDC-T, then what does it say about his mysterious death? Who is exposing who now??”
Mhofu Chaiyo queried the whole essence of the article: “My question is who is supposed to benefit from this article- ZANU PF or the people who have been trying to solve the puzzle about the late Gen. Mujuru’s death? The impact of this article was not well thought out by the editor. This is an indirect confirmation that there was a motive for the late Gen’s murder. Alll literate and objective Zimbabweans can see that.”
Simon Berejena said the article simply confirmed the morass that has embedded the ruling party and its leadership failures. He said it was indeed telling that a commander who commanded multitudes of war cadres could think of dumping the party.
The double-edged sword of the pathetic propaganda piece as said by Mureza Warovhu was that it actually credits both the late Gen. and his wife as progressive people who tried all they could to halt the rot that has since become Zimbabwe today.
“Absolute nonsense. This is obviously all cooked up to discredit Mai Mujuru. You have no shame in attacking Rex Nhongo a dead man and esteemed hero? Assuming it’s true that Rex got on well with MDC, a legal political party, what’s wrong with that unless you don’t respect the constitution of the country? Wasn’t the liberation war about democracy among other things?
If Tsvangirai and Mai Mujuru are treasonous, why are they not in prison? It has to be said right here that people went to war to fight for freedom, self determination and democracy. It wasn’t about being a member of Zanu or any other party nor was it about idolising anyone, Please stop this idiotic thing of vilifying our genuine war heroes. That makes us extremely angry. If your report is true then bravo Solomon naJoyce for at least attempting to stop the rot that has since become Zimbabwe. Pity akafa asina kupedza basa because nyika yanga yave mamvemve yakazosara yoita dunghole chaiyo naana PHD Dhokta Amai naana Kasukuwere,” said Mureza Warovhu.
Others also said the fact that Mai Mujuru tried to “beat” the system from within makes it easy for her to be embraced by opposition supporters as one of them.
Since the formation of Zimbabwe People First by Mujuru and other expelled ZANU PF top officials, ZANU PF through The Herald have tried to downplay her influence by besmirching her war credentials and that of her husband. The propaganda has however failed to find any takers as readers had been quick to dismiss the articles as bonkers.