Zimbabwe’s information minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu has ordered both
state radio and television to run more programmes on the liberation war
and the role played by Zanu PF in bringing independence from colonial
rule, writes our correspondent.


Ndlovu has told station managers and editors at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), a subsidiary of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holdings (ZBH), that liberation programmes "should serve as reminder to the nation how the country was won from the imperialists".

Said Ndlovu: "I have instructed the ZBH board to review content on both radio and television. They should include more programmes on the liberation struggle and they should produce programmes that will make Zimbabweans appreciate that the MDC and its sponsors are the authors of our current suffering.

"It is the duty of the ZBC to educate, inform and publicise the hard gains from our liberation struggle. There is nothing wrong with showing or increasing liberation struggle content on radio and television," Ndlovu said while responding to questions from journalists.

The sole broadcaster has intensified its propaganda since the election, showing pictures of former freedom fighters in the bush and the Lancaster Agreement of 1979 which, among other things, included a commitment from Britain to compensate Zimbabwe for land.

In between the liberation programmes, the ZBC is compelled to show Chinese documentaries which usually last an hour.

Ndlovu said the MDC, led by Morgan Tsvangirai, wants to return land to the whites and should be stopped in its tracks.

Ndlovu's deputy, Bright Matonga, said the government will set stringent conditions for foreign journalists intending to cover the looming presidential run-off.

Said Matonga: “Foreign journalists have shown that they have other motives other than covering democratic elections in Zimbabwe. This time (in the run-off) we will put strong measures to flush out opposition and under-cover journalists.

"We make no apologies for that. Foreign journalists are busy writing falsehoods about us yet they turn a blind eye on the good things we have done such as allowing them to cover the March 29 elections.”

Meanwhile, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe has warned that the looming Presidential run off could present dangers to local journalists.

"The retributive political violence and the related onslaught on media freedom and freedom of expression are in itself telling of the dangers that lie ahead for journalists in the interim period leading to the high stakes presidential run-off.

"The media freedom violations recorded by Misa-Zimbabwe during the month of April came in the form of resuscitation of cases against journalists which had hitherto been quashed for lack of evidence, re-arrests of foreign journalists released by the courts and allegations of the existence of a ‘blacklist’ barring certain journalists from being accredited to cover the 29 March 2008 elections," the organisation said in a statement.