A THREE-MEMBER cabinet team led by Vice-President John Nkomo has been tasked to summon editors from the state and independent media to discuss as a matter of urgency 'hate speech' in the media, reports Tichaona Sibanda for SW Radio Africa.
On Friday, a top executive meeting of the country's inclusive government comprising Robert Mugabe and his two Vice-Presidents, the Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, as well as the two deputy premiers met in Harare and agreed hate speech should be a thing of the past.
The executive meeting called for the media in the country to promote national healing, and advocated for penalties against media houses and broadcasters that promote hate speech and violence.
It is understood that Mr Tsvangirai took great exception during the seven hour meeting to the vicious propaganda war being waged against him, some of his ministers and his party by the Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity. Tsvangirai was reportedly dismayed by the unusually high dose of toxic propaganda that accompanied all his foreign trips, while those by Mugabe are always painted in a positive light.
Mugabe is believed to have strongly objected to the transmission of 'hate messages' to Zimbabwe from 'pirate radio' stations based abroad. ZANU PF insists the foreign-based stations, which include SW Radio Africa, jeopardise the power-sharing unity government.
The issue of foreign-based stations was included in the September 2008 Global Political Agreement, which said Zimbabwean operators of such stations should be encouraged to return and broadcast from Zimbabwean soil. But SW Radio Africa station manager Gerry Jackson remains adamant that media reform has not progressed far enough to make such a move advisable.
The Friday meeting appointed Nkomo, because of his former role as Minister for National Healing and Reconciliation to head a team that includes MDC's Nelson Chamisa and Webster Shamu from ZANU PF to engage the editors and read them the 'riot act.'
Click here to read the full report, posted on SW Radio Africa's website.