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editorial comment PRESIDENTIAL spokesperson George Charamba has been spewing hate with reckless abandon against NewsDay and Alpha Media Holdings on his @Jamwanda2 Twitter handle, but his latest threats on the newspaper and the person of the NewsDay editor and AMH editor-in-chief Wisdom Mdzungairi yesterday cannot go unchallenged. This is not the first time Charamba has spewed hate against the independent Press and in particular this publication’s editors and journalists. This has often seen them being arrested and tormented during the course of their duties at the hands of State and/or their agents. For a person who occupies the office of Deputy Chief Secretary of Cabinet to stoop that low and issue not so subtle threats, misplaced insinuations and inferences all because the independent newspaper is reporting on the multi-faceted crises in Zimbabwe is shocking and a danger to free Press. We have seen what the regime does to journalists for speaking truth to power in what it has done to Hopewell Chin’ono, who spent 45 days in remand prison and another journalist, Mduduzi Mathuthu, who remains in hiding for merely reporting on corruption involving the highest office in the land. Last week, journalists were beaten and had their equipment destroyed by yet “unknown assailants” for covering a Press conference and the government has been dead silent on the matter. Yet Charamba gets angry with NewsDay for reporting on events that are happening. Lately, journalists have become this regime’s punching bags for doing their work. Why are you prescribing to us what to write and to fit your template of what makes a story? Your twinkle fingers betray claims of an independent Press and sadly, democracy. What South African International Relations minister Naledi Pandor said about Zimbabwe at the weekend is consistent with her African National Congress (ANC) party’s position which they have made a matter of public record, and what Zanu PF’s information director Tafadzwa Mugwadi said about ANC is also in line with what the party has said publicly. At what point does it become a NewsDay issue? We do not know whether you subscribe to ANC’s description of Zimbabwe as being in a “mess” and that there is a “crisis” in the country or to Zanu PF and government’s insistence of “no crisis”: our job is to report about how there could be such a dichotomy among so-called sister liberation movements. Yes, it is NewsDay’s “bounden duty to mirror Zimbabwe as we see through news” to paraphrase your tweet. We do not make news, we report about events and people that are making the news. Among NewsDay’s founding principles are that it will play a leading role in national healing, nation building, reconciliation and reconstruction. It would also provide a platform for Zimbabweans to talk to each other without fear or favour. We believe that only through a robust engagement will Zimbabweans emerge from the current polarisation into a society characterised by high levels of tolerance. NewsDay provides and will continue to provide a platform on which Zimbabwe

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