THE public media would want us to believe the big lie that the postponement of the Zanu PF internal polls on Tuesday was largely due to a voter high voter turn-out that made it impossible for the party to hold primary elections in a single day.
Southern Eye Editorial
Living to its billing as an appendage of Zanu PF, the public media — both print and broadcast — yesterday camouflaged the violence, demonstrations and boycotts that characterised the party’s shambolic internal elections in and around the country.
For instance, a case of arson in Zvimba North constituency, Mugabe’s backwater of all places, was conveniently and deliberately ignored by ZTV and State newspapers.
The public media lied with a straight face that the polls were peaceful, yet social media was awash the whole day on Tuesday with reports of near-fist fights, violence and allegations of rigging during the abortive Zanu PF primaries.
It is a fact that chaotic scenes, including late delivery of ballot papers and theft of papers, were the order of the day at some constituencies, yet the public media would want the nation to believe Zanu PF has suddenly turned into a saint.
The public media appeared to be impressed by the “more than 10 000 people” who allegedly turned out to vote at a certain constituency compared “to 32 and 100 people” that voted in the MDC-T primaries while the other MDC was accused of cherry-picking anyone to fill vacant places.
But they should also be questioning why 10 000 people would turn out to select a mere councillor, House of Assembly representative and a senator.
Instead of raising pertinent questions, it would appear the State media is content in being lap-dogs of a political party that has for the past 33 years pillaged the country and chooses to ignore the realities on the ground, that people want change in the way they have been governed for the past three decades.
It is our submission that the charade in the State media lends credence to calls for the urgent need for reform of the State broadcaster, which should be turned into a truly public entity.
It is on record that the MDCs have also demanded the urgent reconstitution of the ZBC and the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.
Tuesday’s reportage in the public media of Zanu PF primaries gives evidence that reform of the sector remains a key issue as the country trudges towards elections.
For the ZBC, this is an abuse of the State broadcaster at a time the same station is mounting roadblocks demanding that citizens bankroll its operations. You can fool some people, but not all people all the time.