Shamu appointments threat to government
The announcement of the unilateral appointment of new board members for the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and other statutory bodies by the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity represents yet another threat to the spirit and letter of the inclusive government.
Information minister Webster Shamu has simply usurped the powers of Parliament which had begun to constitute independent Commissions and bodies, including the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).
He has become the implementing arm of a shameful and sinister Zanu PF agenda to populate strategic national institutions with Zanu PF apologists.
The biggest threat to democracy is not only the unilateral appointments, but the unilateral decision to recycle a celebrated media hangman such as Tafataona Mahoso by making him chairman of BAZ.
The media graveyard has five newspapers and two radio stations which Mahoso banned, closed or were bombed during his tenure as chairman of the Media and Information Commission.
Mahoso failed dismally during the interviews to select members of the Zimbabwe Media Commission. Zanu PF’s penchant to reward failure is well recorded, but this time they have chosen to beat their own record.
Mahoso’s legacy at the MIC makes a loud statement that he is unfit to head a strategic national institution in the new dispensation of inclusivity and tolerance.
Yesterday’s enemies of press freedom cannot be today’s allies of a plural and diverse media which Zimbabweans want. Sunset characters cannot be part of the new dawn of democracy and media freedom.
Shamu has appointed nine members from the military into six statutory bodies. The militarisation of civilian institutions sends wrong and dangerous signals nationally, regionally and in the broader international community.
Soldiers are square pegs in a round hole when they are appointed into civilian bodies such as the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe or the board of directors of Kingstons.
The best place for our gallant sons and daughters who save as soldiers is in military barracks, not the boardroom of a civic national body.
Shamu’s latest antics are threat to the inclusive government and the GPA. They represent everything that is wrong with the inclusive government where one party is hell-bent on betraying its own signature by failing to adhere to agreements and common sense.
Zimbabweans want real change. They do not deserve the recycling of old characters with a perforated past and a chequered history such as Tafataona Mahoso. They want hope, democracy, prosperity, freedom, dignity, security.
Together to the end, marching to a new Zimbabwe.