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Chamisa's bully boys go after the media

15 May 2018 at 18:50hrs | Views
MDC-T President Nelson Chamisa's paramilitary movement "The Vanguard" is used to pushing people about and intimidating critics of their boss. These bully boys have had some success in quelling dissent within the MDC movement against their leader who sprang from nowhere to take the reins of the party from democratically-elected leaders.

Much of the bullying has turned in recent months to social media where no one is above abuse, including the mother of the late Morgan Tsvangirai who was viciously targeted online when she dared criticise Chamisa.

Now, it appears some of the Vanguard's tactics are being used against the media. Many MDC members and supporters have cried foul over grilling Chamisa received from BBC HARDTalk's Stephen Sackur. They have tried to abuse, discredit and delegitimise, what is one of the world's most respectable and watched news shows globally.

They have cried foul, not because of any other reason except it made Chamisa look bad. For perhaps the first time, the new MDC leader was grilled on his recent statements and his lack of vision. Chamisa was ill-prepared and looked stunned and stuttered throughout trying to find explanations for things many have often wondered about.

The bullying online became so aggressive that the British Embassy had to put out a press release to defend simple and fully acceptable journalistic practices. Responding to Chamisa's aides attacks, the Embassy.

"Sometimes journalists deliberately seek to be provocative in their questioning in order to put their interviewees under pressure," the Embassy tweeted. "People who have seen Hard Talk will know that their style is particularly robust WHOEVER is being interviewed."

"The clue is in the title of the show!"

The attacks against Sackur an accomplished and award-winning journalist have simply been to deflect and distract from an attempt to show Chamisa as a leader.

The MDC was shown to be during the almost half an hour what many suspected; unprepared, populist, out of his depth and with no clear grasp of the issues.

The media should be allowed to work freely and fairly, and any type of aggression shown towards journalists should send a shudder down a spine of those who care about press freedoms. These are not the actions of someone who care about the new Zimbabwe, but of someone who could take us backwards to a darker past.

Source - Innocent Dube
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