Zimbabwe minister threatens media

2012-05-03 22:02

Harare - Zimbabwe on Thursday threatened a crackdown on the media over what it called sensational and inaccurate reporting, following stories over the health of 88-year-old President Robert Mugabe.

However critics said the warning from the country's information ministry, controlled by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, could be an attempt to intimidate journalists ahead of elections expected next year.

Senior Zanu-PF officials last month were forced to issue statements dismissing reports that Mugabe was seriously ill in Singapore, saying the stories were lies meant to destabilise Zimbabwe.

Addressing journalists at an event to mark World Press Freedom Day on Thursday, information minister Webster Shamu said: "If the clearly anti-African and anti-Zimbabwe frenzy we have experienced through some media outlets and platforms in this country continues, and if the conspiracy of silence within the media industry and profession also persists, the gloves may soon be off here as well."

Mugabe was forced into a power-sharing deal with his rival and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, after a disputed 2008 poll which Western powers said was marred by Zanu-PF violence and intimidation.

Under the terms of the deal, elections must be held by next year.

Brian Mangwende, chair of the Zimbabwe National Editors' Forum, said of Shamu's remarks: "He must be under pressure from those Zanu-PF ministers who want to tame the media before we get to the next elections.

"I hope he has no reason to take off his gloves for a fight with the media."

The MDC accuses Shamu and Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba of stalling reforms to open up Zimbabwe's state-run television and radio broadcasting to the private sector.

Mugabe has ruled the country since its independence from Britain in 1980. The president has been the subject of several newspaper health stories in recent years, with some reports saying he has prostate cancer.

In interviews with state media in February he laughed off suggestions he was seriously ill.

  • hcduplessis - 2012-05-03 22:33

    Pathetic,Mugabe,GO F@@K YOURSELF!

      John - 2012-05-04 05:46

      Mugobwe, why don't you just die you STD infected primate!

      lucas.chingonzo - 2012-05-04 06:01

      Hcduplessis@ urimbwa yemunhu

      John - 2012-05-04 11:47

      @lucas. Yeah and duck you too Zimbo trash, if you like old syphilitic bob so much, what are you doing in the WCape, stealing someones job you have no chance of getting in Zim. By the way when you go back take Condom in the toilet with you.

      Dabllee - 2012-05-04 16:54

      Unfortunitely no one is brave enough to stand with our President, and if you try it here in Zim we will chow you up. Zimbabwe is not South Africa a Puppert government that is being managed buy some foreign countries looking after the Whites and not the Blacks,

  • DJPJVS - 2012-05-04 00:41

    So we now stand yet again at the two faced Zimbabwe, one for economic growth promoting transparency and one for who likes to call people imperialists

  • Theo Ferreira - 2012-05-04 07:09

    "the gloves will come off"... Zim euphemism for assault, illegal imprisonment and murder. How many million zim dollars do those gloves cost?

  • NrGx - 2012-05-04 08:49

    "...saying the stories were lies meant to destabilise Zimbabwe." so you assume zim is stable now?, now thats a lie if i ever heard one

  • Loo - 2012-05-04 09:34

    WHY cant someone just kill this F*#cker ?????????????

      John - 2012-05-04 12:24

      I agree give old lucas chimpanzee here a real job, hit man to take out his boss.

  • Dabllee - 2012-05-04 16:50

    All you idiots knows nothing about HIs Excellency President Robert Gabriel Mugabe, The man is a Hero, he is the only man who managed to take what belongs to the mass and hand it back the original owners, the man is no puppert of no one, Long Live Mr President and all you afrikaners are scared of people like Mugabe because you know very well that he is the only man who can pull you down.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-04 17:04

      Dabllee, Shame, how old are you ? 6 or 7 ??

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