By Staff Reporter
MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has slammed Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary George Charamba for allegedly converting public media into a Zanu PF propaganda machinery as the country gears for the crunch July 30 general elections.
Addressing a capacity crowd at Mkoba Stadium in Gweru Sunday, Chamisa also took a swipe at some unnamed journalists from ZBC and the Sunday Mail for alleged biased reportage.
The 40-year-old presidential hopeful accused the State president of abusing the state media in attempts to reverse what he said was an electoral defeat in waiting.
“Please George Charamba, respect the people of Zimbabwe. Honour us; we are paying for taxes, paying the public broadcaster, yet you want to give them Zanu PF propaganda,” Chamisa said.
Charamba also doubles as President Emmerson Mnangagwa spokesperson.
The MDC Alliance is adamant it was deliberately being frozen out of State media coverage by the Zanu PF administration that has reportedly imposed prohibitive fees for political parties wishing to air their campaign messages via the public media.
On the other hand, Zanu PF continues to enjoy generous air time on the State broadcaster’s television and radio stations.
The leading opposition contender to State presidency vowed to end biased reporting by the State media.
“This year they are going vomit the propaganda. You will be disappointed,” he said.
“We want to cleanse the mindset of those working at ZBC and Sunday Mail.
“They must know that if you are leading the country, don’t mislead people with information.
“We don’t want what you are doing; just give information as it is.”
Chamisa warned journalists whom he said were being used by Zanu PF that they will be shown the exit once Zanu PF is out of power if they persisted with their biased coverage.
“There are some who report accurately. We want to thank you journalists of that calibre. But those with Zanu PF demons, beware that when the Zanu PF demon is exorcised, you will go with it.”
He added, “I believe in a free press but I have a problem with a bastardised press. I have a problem with a twisted press.”
Chamisa said ZBC ignored deliberately Mnangagwa’s misdemeanours in its news coverage.
“ZBC is very biased in its reportage. They misrepresent facts. Instead of telling it like it is that Mnangagwa is bussing people to his rallies, they will try to paint a different picture.
“They will go to an extent of saying a well subscribed rally such as this one was a total flop. We don’t bus people to our rallies,” he said.
He also vowed he was going to over-run President Mnangagwa in a presidential race which poll surveys say would be closely fought between the two front runners.
“There is not to be a run-off; there is a run-over,” he quipped.
“We are running over Mnangagwa in this election; we are going to defeat him.”