IN THE PRESS
IT IS funny — though horribly shameful — how the private media in Zimbabwe allow themselves to be the willing and blunt tools of a losing opposition political party.
Whenever they report on Nelson Chamisa’s wet dream of a coalition government or “transitional authority”, you find at the basis a crippling innumeracy that expresses itself in the self-indulgent claim that Nelson came close to winning the 2018 Presidential election.
The reality is that he was a distant second. He was more than 300 000 votes behind President Emmerson Mnangagwa. He was more than five percent away from the threshold required for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to declare him President of the Republic.
There was nothing “close” about his performance. Further, his ragtag coalition of parliamentary candidates was soundly whipped at the polls, getting just 63 National Assembly seats to ZANU-PF’s 145.
Surely those figures only point to the need for a coalition government if you are a stubborn innumerate! But they do not stop there. They go further and parrot the joke of a “transitional authority”. Transiting to what? To an unpopular government that cannot win an election?
Sadly, we should not be surprised. These are the same people who cheer on profiteers in the retail sector and pray for the collapse of the national economy as if they live in another country.
They act as if their newspaper sales have not declined to the point of facing closure, leaving them without a platform from which to display their innumeracy and no capacity to feed their families.
When it comes to the country’s growth and development, the media have a duty to be part of the building process — not cheer leaders of self-centred prophets of doom.