MDC-T blast NewsDay for alleged bias
HARARE – The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) on Tuesday criticised the independent NewsDay newspaper alleging bias in its coverage of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai.
A statement issued by Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka claims the paper had three separate stories “attacking the same man” and this left “no one under any doubt that the mission is a well-orchestrated media crusade to attack the Morgan Tsvangirai brand.”
Tamborinyoka said the lead story “Tsvangirai seeing shadows” was “yet another build-up on a false story published a week ago alleging that President Morgan Tsvangirai had said there are people in the party wishing to remove him from his position as party President.
“For the record, Tsvangirai never made any reference to the so-called internal plot to remove him because there is no such plot as he only received a new mandate at congress last October. While in Chitungwiza, he never made any reference to the internal plots as reported last week in a false story on which you are building up the lies against Tsvangirai.
Another story the MDC-T took issue with was “Mujuru, Tsvangirai clash over party name” and quoted Tsvangirai’s former political strategist Maxwell Zeb Shumba claiming “efforts to forge a grand coalition between his former boss and ex-Vice-President Joice Mujuru collapsed after the two parties clashed over the proposed name for the hybrid party.”
“Curiously, your other story is based on the rantings of one Maxwell Shumba, who is purportedly speaking on behalf of the MDC when he is not the party spokesperson. He is rambling the fiction of an imagined dispute with people who are still to form their own party. Surely, how can there be a dispute over a party name with people who are still to form their own party?” Tamborinyoka said.
NewsDay reporter Richard Chidza was also criticised by the MDC-T. According to the MDC-T Chidza is a former party member who lost parliamentary primary elections before he left the party and is therefore allegedly pushing a “suspicious agenda”.
“For a former party member who ran in the internal MDC primary elections cannot masquerade as an objective journalist as he has his own grievances because he was unsuccessful in the internal elections,” Tamborinyoka said.
“For the record, the Morgan Tsvangirai brand is too big to be destroyed by media houses with an agenda. For a credible publication to write three separate stories in one issue, all attacking the integrity of one man but without giving him his right of reply, can only betray a malicious agenda,” he added.
Tamborinyoka said in all three stories “Tsvangirai’s voice is missing as demanded by the dictates of ethical journalism.”