By Nyashadzashe Ndoro
Zanu PF Director of Information Tafadzwa Mugwadi insulted an Al Jazeera journalist, the Stream presenter Femi Oke during a virtual debate.
In a debate that was themed “Are Zimbabweans being silenced?”, Oke was reading the audiences’ comments, Mugwadi started laughing interrupting her and said, “This is rubbish. F*ck you.”
The live discussion included Human Rights Watch’s director Dewa Mavhinga and main opposition MDC Alliance national spokesperson Fadzai Mahere.
Mahere took to Twitter and said “We owe the extremely graceful presenter @FemiOke an apology. That display by @TafadzwaMugwadi was disgraceful & should never have happened. It is not the Zimbabwean way at all. Thank you for shining a light on #ZimbabweanLivesMatter.”
Zanu PF has been accused many times of using hate speech against its critics.
The ruling Zanu-PF party spokesman Patrick Chinamasa recently lashed out at the U.S. government and U.S. Ambassador Brian Nichols calling him a thug. Chinamasa accused the U.S of backing the MDC Alliance to revolt against the government.
Last week Zanu PF official and country’s Information minister, Monica Mutsvangwa attacked the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) using all sorts of derogatory language after the clergymen condemned the wanton human rights violations and clampdown on opposition activists amid escalating political tensions.
She singled out for strong rebuke, Ndebele priest, Robert Ndlovu and it has been widely considered tribalistic.
The ZCBC had released a statement condemning President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s under-fire administration for being perpetrators of the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.
Political analyst Pedzisai Ruhanya rebuked Zanu PF officials for using hate speech.
“Insults on the world media stage are not ideas. Sit down and defend issues and ideas and less sloganeering otherwise you are a major laughing stalk at this moment. Plus please don’t consume toxins when you go for interviews.
“Zanu PF needs to sit down, organize itself at the levels of ideas because some of their mistakes are avoidable should it invest in intellectual labour.
“Surely Monica and Mugwadi debacles are avoidable. When it’s agents get platforms to articulate party and gov policies avoid insults,” Ruhanya said.