Thursday, 29 May 2014

Cde Dzino: "Not a Minute Without the People" (We Salute You!)

By Takura Zhangazha*

My first encounter with the late Cde Wilfred Mhanda or Cde Dzino as he was and will always be affectionately  known by many, was a brief, personal but thorough impromptu lecture in the early 2000s. 

We had been debating the legacy  of Marxism in the liberation struggle and its placement in the struggle for further democratization of the country.

At that time he had helped to establish an organization called the Zimbabwe Liberator’s Platform (ZLP) for war veterans who were not comfortable with being members of the then radical Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).  And as always, where it came to explaining political concepts and issues, the great deputy National Political Commissar of the Zimbabwe People’s Army (ZIPA) would re-emerge.  

To be sure, that late Masvingo afternoon , I got my fill of ‘dialectical materialism’ and how socialism as an ideology assisted in formulating not only strategy but also part of the visionary import of the liberation struggle.  And I knew I was lucky to be in the presence of a legendary freedom fighter. 

Not that he expected you to hero worship him. Not at all. He was more interested in discussing the contemporary and future state of affairs than his past as a revolutionary guerrilla.  It was a past that those who have read his memoir ‘Dzino, Memories of a FreedomFighter’ are by now well aware of.

But he never boasted of it. He rarely mentioned the fact that he was a key player in the writing of the Mgagao Declaration (after the assassination of Herbert Chitepo) that led to the formation of the united Zimbabwe People’s Army (ZIPA) in 1976 wherein he became the Deputy Political Commissar.   

The divisions that emerged with the escalation of the war including his 1977  imprisonment in Mozambique until independence were as sad as they were part of the vicissitudes of the struggle.

These events and their end effects do not however take away the important leadership roles that Cde Dzino played in decisive phases of the liberation struggle. 

Instead they should make us realize that in his leadership roles he never averred from what he considered his political principles. Even if it led to his continual imprisonment until independence. 

In the aftermath of independence Cde Dzino was one of the few legendary leaders of the struggle that uniquely sought to interact with younger generations of Zimbabweans (myself included) on contemporary political matters as they occurred. 

He had no sense of entitlement that we have seen with some of our liberation war veterans.  Instead he had an unwavering commitment to the values of human dignity, democracy,  human rights and socio-economic justice.  This he made evidently clear at a Committee of the Peoples Charter 2011 annual Samora Machel Lecture where he stated,

“The best tribute that we can make to  Machel… is to re-dedicate and re-commit ourselves to the ideals for which he fought and died; is to position ourselves on the side of championing the people’s interest by standing up and speaking out in defence of the people’s rights. As another gallant son of Africa, Amilcar Cabral had stated before his assassination, “not a day without the struggle, not an hour without the movement and not a minute without the people”.”

Cde Dzino was also never willing to be a pawn in anyone’s or any party’s unclear political game.  Hence he never had any direct leadership role in any opposition political party.  He however had great sympathies with the mainstream opposition but regularly expressed his frustration at their inability to be better organized electorally and internally.

His involvement with the Zimbabwean civic movement resided largely with ensuring the Zimbabwe Liberators Platform participated in broader democratization processes such as constitutional reform, electoral reforms and observation of human rights. And again, without any sense of entitlement.

In all of this, Cde Dzino's diminutive form would always rise up in meetings to make salient points about he state of democracy and in somewhat socialist fashion always end his submissions with a clear articulation of what needed to be done.  Sometimes with exasperation, most times with a magnanimity so rare for a man who was once at the front-lines of the liberation struggle. 

What he taught me, and hopefully others, is that to be a national hero, one needs not be loud or consistently re-living the events of the liberation struggle. Yes, one must remember the struggle, its pain and its eventual success but not in order to cloud its values and principles.  

Cde Dzino lived the values and principles of the liberation struggle by being like the rest of us. There were no sirens in his wake, nor were there uniformed soldiers always clearing the way for him. There was just us, the ordinary people, sometimes knowing, sometimes not knowing, that amongst us walks a legend of the liberation struggle. 

Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Zim's Indigenization 'Climb Up' or 'Climb Down', Difference is the Same.

By Takura Zhangazha* 

The Zimbabwean government has, through the media, announced that it is reviewing it’s much talked about economic  indigenization and empowerment policy. The review, again according to contested media reports, its either a ‘climb down’ or a ‘climb up’. The latter phrase meaning an escalation of the radical nature of the policy as opposed to what columnists and opinion leaders have been hoping to be a de-radicalisation of the same.

Both perspectives are emerging more as a result of either turf politics in Zanu Pf or ‘we told you so’ perspectives from the mainstream opposition and even advocates of neo-liberal free market economics.  These counter perspectives tend to be more in keeping with shrill but shallow ideological standpoints that do not reflect an adequate appreciation of the context of indigenization in Zimbabwe. This also being a characteristic that is most unfortunate where and when it is reflected in the opinions of different leaders in cabinet, at least for now.

What would be important to recall however is that indigenization or economic empowerment as outlined by the Zanu Pf government is not a recent development in our economy let alone our politics.  The language may have been different but it began with land reform in the early 1980s.  Specifically with the functional adage ‘from the few to the many/majority’.  It was also not limited to land but the socio-economic rights of the same majority. These included access to health, education, water and  basic infrastructural services such as transport.

It is the basic philosophy of ‘from the few to the many’ that informed our initial indigenization programmes. Their end effect was to have all Zimbabweans feeling and living in state that empowered across all necessary aspects of their existence. 

What however occurred with the adoption of World Bank funded and determined economic structural adjustment programmes (ESAP) in the late 1980s through to the late 1990s was a significant ideological shift in understanding indigenization.  It was no longer from the ‘few to the many’ but ‘from the few to a nascent black free market oriented few’.  Whereas prior to the onset ESAP, empowerment was interpreted in the broadest social democratic terms, in its aftermath, it was more about the creation of a new black economic elite or as the World Bank would continue to put it, a new ‘African middle class.’

This is in part what informed the creation of the Indigenous Business Development Center  in the early 1990s.  It became one among a number of organizations that led to the initial rise of many a business maverick some of whom now no longer have the companies that they got empowered to create or own.

Where we fast forward to the contemporary version of indigenization and economic empowerment there is still that 1990s thread of the empowerment of a new black elite as opposed to the broadest empowerment of the many.  If we take the radical land reform programme at the turn of the century, the initial frenzy of empowering a majority landless has since been overtaken by either 'replacement ownership' of massive farms by an elite few, the little noticed eviction of the initial beneficiaries or in most cases, without any significant changes to specific land use that reflects broader empowerment. 

Or where we look at issues relating to mining, the empowerment model has sought more to make state elites or politically connected persons undertake the very same extraction without the much lauded' beneficiation'.  Or with Community Share Ownership Trusts which have been reported in the media as being penniless.  All of this within the context of not changing the structural tenets of the neo-liberal system that informed minority resource ownership. 

In the new review strategy that government is intending, the principle of a Production Sharing Model, or the Joint Empowerment Investment Model, do not change the structural and neo-liberal intentions of its original policy.  It only appears to seek to rationalize it further by giving the state and its well connected elite latitude to negotiate without instilling fear in international conglomerates.  Where examples of other states implementing a similar model are given, their specific contexts and whether indeed the end-benefits of such frameworks are enjoyed by the majority poor are conveniently left out.  Or the fact that we have neither oil nor as vast reserves of any other high in global market demand mineral. 

Admittedly these are trying economic times and any investment luring overtures from government should be welcome. The challenge however is whether these proposed investments are linked to an economic revolution that empowers a majority of Zimbabweans or are merely intended at accentuating elitist state capitalism.  The experimentation being undertaken by the government is unfortunately less primed to meet the socio-economic needs of the ‘many’.  Instead, what government appears to be much more keen on is a structural state capitalism that leads more to the creation of oligarchs than it democratizes the socio- economic fabric of Zimbabwean society.  And therein lies the problem. We would be better off if we approached the whole matter from the holistic lens of the 1980s. 

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Information Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) Needs to Be Honest.

By Takura Zhangazha*

The government appointed Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) has been engaged in at least a month’s  long public outreach programme.  It has been reported that some of the public meetings have been characterized by low to reasonable  attendance and also that  members of the public that have attended are generally in the dark as to what exactly the inquiry is all about. Until they get to the scheduled meeting where initial explanations are  given as to why senior journalists and civil servants are soliciting their opinions on the media in general.

The reported input thus far has been that the members of the public that have been consulted are emphasizing the need for community radio stations. In some cases they have also been asking about the impartiality and lack of broadcasting reach of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC).  On other occasions there is mention of serious concerns as to existent  media laws and the unethical conduct of journalists. 

In all of these reported submissions to IMPI, the common thread has been that there is limited public knowledge of the specific mandate of the public outreach or those that are conducting it. Either by way of occurrence (venue, date, time of meetings) or by way of the terms of reference that inform it. 

The latter two points can possibly be explained by lack of adequate publicity around IMPI. Or if the publicity has been adequate, it might be due to a lack of public interest, a possibility which is highly unlikely.  The Zimbabwean public has a general interest where and when it comes to government officials soliciting their views. Sometimes for politically partisan reasons (as was the case with the constitutional reform exercise) or for the mere spectacle of giving a rarely solicited opinion to government officials that talk more than they listen. 

So the truth of the matter is that the IMPI outreach programme, perhaps well meaning, was badly planned and is being executed with a stubborn determination in order to probably ‘just get it over with.’  Particularly given the fact that it is no longer ‘early days’ of either the appointment of the panel or the launch of its public outreach.  How else can one explain its low public interest? Or alternatively its muted explanation of its full terms of reference? Perhaps the latter are not too clear or if they are, the panel may not feel it necessary to explain them fully, a development that would be as unfortunate as it would be undemocratic.

What this regretfully points to is that IMPI has started off on a bad footing.  While it is a good thing that the panelists that are in charge of IMPI are from a multiplicity of media houses, organizations, that alone does not make the process credible.  Especially where it comes to issues of soliciting public views.
For media practitioners, given their training and the significant trust that the public has placed (or should place) in them, it behooves them to explain what they are seeking from the general citizenry in a much more democratic and transparent manner.  Especially where they are willing participants in a government sanctioned policy review process. 

The immediate and still assumed optimistic significance of the process that IMPI is undertaking has been that it is the precursor to an improvement of both the media environment and the capacity of the journalism and the media to effectively carry out their role as the fourth estate. This would mean that IMPIs review and public consultation processes are essentially meant to have the end effect of further democratizing the media law environment and ensuring that the media, in its totality, plays a much more significantly democratic role in the affairs of the country. Especially where it rides on the back of the new Sections 61 and 62 of the constitution which guarantee media freedom and access to information respectively.

The signs in reality might be pointing to a different and less preferable end result.  The very fact that IMPI’s terms of reference and eventual accountability mechanism are either not officially known or deliberately vague points to the serious risk that this might be an exercise that is not as honest as expected. 

Furthermore, the failure by media stakeholders  to explore the full import of IMPI through either further analysis or alternatively establishing public  debate platforms in their publications or stations raises eyebrows as to how much confidence they place in the process. 

That those that would be directly affected have not shown enthusiasm in broader publicizing of the process or flagging out key issues might point to the possibility that there is no anticipation of fundamental changes to the media policy framework as it obtains.  At least not without direct government benevolence.

The debate around challenges and prospects of the media under the aegis of IMPI, as broad based as it appears, must be bigger and have a direct resonance with the public.  At the moment it is neither. As a result, the media profession, media businesses and media organizations, run the risk of being seen as peripheral to the day to day lives of ordinary citizens.  Let alone the democratic culture of the country.

With whatever time it has left in carrying out its mandate, IMPI has to perform better, even if we do not really know its terms of reference.  The opportunity it has to review the media might have been granted by the current Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, but the results of the same should transcend either his tenure or his benevolence.  Not only because these are things that should have been done long back but also because, the media is so integral to our prospects of realizing meaningful democracy in Zimbabwe, its stakeholders and government cannot afford to be casual, vague and elitist in seeking to democratize it further. 

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (

Monday, 19 May 2014

Africa Day 2014: Remain Optimistic and Act in Pursuit of Revolutionary Posterity.

By Takura Zhangazha*

It’s a hard ask, sometimes, trying to refer to a revolutionary Africa in contemporary times. Even more-so, when it comes to our annual 25 May Africa Day commemorations. The latter’s  ebbing historical meaning to subsequent generations of Africans who still view the North as better than home remains a sore point.  Including the sad tales of those who would sooner risk life and limb crossing the temperamental Mediterranean sea only to meet watery deaths in the vain quest for acceptance and integration in fortress and increasingly intolerant Europe. 

If one adds to this the tragic circumstances that continue to unfold in various parts of the continent such as in Libya, Nigeria and South Sudan , to mention a few, one would be forgiven for thinking that Africa is functioning as of old and is in fact, as given by colonial narrative, in ‘regular need of saving from itself’. 

Narratives in affirmation of the latter point have been with us, particularly since the tragic Rwandan genocide. Counter-narratives have also regularly emerged that seek to place the African as being capable of solving his/her problems without undue interference let alone assistance.  Hence there was reference, which gets muted with each passing year, the one time popular ‘African Renaissance’ African Union backed project.

In both, there resides the past. Either by way of colonialist attitude toward the continent, and the idealistic one of the revolutionary intent exhibited by those who were at the heart of the anti-colonial struggles to liberate the continent. 

Outside of these two narratives has emerged another which is basically a pretense at looking at the ‘hard facts’ of Africa’s backwardness.  It claims, among other things, that Africa is merely refusing to accept its ‘backwardness’ and must stop assuming the world owes it anything. Even if on the basis of the historical injustice that was colonialism. 

It is an argument that has been a sensation on the internet and also in the African Diaspora mainly because it is argued from the citadels of the West and also because it resonates with the biased argument that Africa needs to follow development models as determined by Western epistemology in order to get out of its seemingly never-ending poverty/ crises.  Where it accepts such knowledge and implements its dictat, then it will rise in the manner that is partisanly preferred by global publications such as the Economist.   

In all of these arguments, the intention  appears to be to de-link the African continent from its revolutionary history and struggle against t imperialism and colonialism.  Given the broader undemocratic tendencies of most post colonial African governments as well as the bifurcation of the then Organisation of African Unity (OAU) by the vicissitudes of the Cold War, the intentions of such an argument are easier to achieve.  In fact, the end results of it have become more self evident than what many a Pan-Africanist would prefer. 

From the ineptitude o the African Union in dealing with continental crises or the under-performance of African members of the United Nations Security Council through to the general lack of a clear African success story in narratives deemed African, there appears to be little to be optimistic about. 

This however does not take away the fact that there is an undying  umbilical cord with revolutionary Africa and contemporary Africa.  For Africans, the continent cannot be imagined in the 'now' without reference to its revolutionary past. The principles and intentions of those that first sought to link all of us together have not had reason to be changed, regardless of the fact that in most cases the same have been betrayed by current and former political leaders. 

The problems faced by Africa may be numerous and in most cases not of its own making.  Indeed we may be complicit, either via our recalcitrant political leadership or our easily prone disposition to external goods and services ‘markets’, but there are always remedies to a crisis. 

The first such remedy requires that we, as Africans, embrace fully, the historical trajectory that has been the African continent.  We cannot nitpick our past. Instead we must understand it in its fullness in order to better tackle contemporary and future challenges. 

This would entail seeking more to define our African being on our own terms and beyond the geographical or the age-old, ‘native other’.  Admittedly this does not solve our myriad of problems, but having a clearer mind of being goes a long way in assisting us to get our desired democratic results. 

In the same vein, we cannot resist technology as it visits us, either via the internet or increased mobility and cheaper goods and services as they arrive at our borders.  What we must however do is to be able to harness these technologies and new knowledge systems to our context in our best democratic and public interest.  So for example, information communications technologies (ICTs)  cannot merely be applied on the continent in mimicry to their application in their places of origin.  Our lifestyles may be poorer, but that does not make them any less important within their own context or universal human rights values.

Or where we are asked to apply neo-liberal economic policies in return for direct aid or foreign investment approval, we must take into account our local contexts and not just our electoral cycles.  Our policies must reflect posterity and not ‘hand to mouth’ cyclical frenzies.  Moreover, we must continually understand that the task of acting for posterity no longer relates only to those that were in the liberation struggles. But more to those that have been referred to as 'born free'.  They too must take up the mantle of continuing the revolutionary intentions of the struggles against colonialism and imperialism, even without having to hold a gun. They must learn the significance of their own their values despite having to navigate a much more connected world or even latter day African dictatorships.  As would have been said by the Guinea Bissau and Cape-Verdean revolutionary, Amilcar Cabral, we must return to the historical path of determining a democratic future for our societies. 

We need to speak more to ourselves than to the rest of the world.  Our socio-economic and political  values need not always find approval elsewhere than on our very own continent. From our football, music, through to our political and economic development models, we need to reaffirm that being African transcends mere identity or geographical placement.  Instead, it exudes values and principles that are passed from one generation to the next in the pursuit of continuing democratic progress. All for posterity. 

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Deputy Minister Mandiwanzira, "Take it Again From the Top and this Time, Calmly,"

By Takura Zhangazha* 

The deputy Minister of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services, Mr. Mandiwanzira  was recently on the world famous BBC Hardtalk programme. Most politicians would balk at even the idea of being on such, as its name suggests, a hard-talking interview programme. And for agreeing to be on it,  the deputy minister must be applauded.  Until one watches the actual interview.
It is a general given that  the Ministry of Information (whatever other phrases are added to its title) has been viewed as the official publicity arm of government/cabinet business.  As such, the ministry,  or at least what it says publicly tends to reflect the general character of government. And I am sure that is why the BBC was probably keen on hearing out the deputy minister. 

However, watching and listening to Mr. Mandiwanzira’s interview, one can be forgiven for thinking that our government is impatient, too defensive (as opposed to explanatory), evasive and a tad dishonest.  Or even that, contrary to its deliberate actions of seeking broad re-engagement with the international community, the government appears not to have shifted from its old combative international style.  This regardless of the fact that there are many better ways for it to make its global case other than being vituperative in order to get partisan pats on the back for having  put the BBC in ‘it’s place’.

But the most unfortunate aspect of the interview is that the deputy minister decides, in answering or evading questions, to delve into personal and not issue based responses.  And in some instances with downright dishonesty too by dismissing opinions of organizations such as Crisis Coalition, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network solely because he says they are funded by ‘regime change’ agents. (He also makes brief mention of the media in the same vein.)

He also, with some emotion, responded to reference to an opinion I had written on the issue of land redistribution increasingly appearing to an elite transaction, by wrongly accusing me of being a member of a political party. And  dismissing my opinion on the grounds that I therefore had a ‘vested interest’.  The truth of the matter, every Zimbabwean has a vested interest in land.

From those that are given land today and evicted from the same tomorrow without either compensation or democratic relocation.  All in an age where we are supposed to be in the final stages of what government has called the ‘3rd Chimurenga. Or where urban land is allocated to the urban homeless  under the aegis of the ruling party prior to an election, only to have their houses demolished the morning after a two thirds majority electoral victory by the same party.  All of which are being done without adequately addressing issues of land usage within the context of the redistribution programme. 

He however chose to conveniently evade the actual issue he was being questioned on and ironically had to be reminded that even if he referred to my person, I was also a Zimbabwean with an opinion. As well as to not shoot the messenger!

Obviously Mr. Mandiwanzira as a seasoned journalist and former chief executive of  a new private radio station, knows how to play to specific media audience galleries. Even on the BBC. Or at national events where he has now become a regular master of ceremonies.  No one should begrudge him that.
But as a senior government official there are probably a number of things that he needs either to be reminded of. Or at least told, if he does not know.

At a time when the collective effort of the Zimbabwean government appears to be that of courting international support for Zimasset, it would be prudent to be less evasive, personal or abrasive  on international television. While BBC Hardtalk suggests and is known for its combative style of questioning, the interviewee is normally the better for it if they are calm, professional and precise in their responses. Even if to questions they may deem to be uninformed because the BBC is ‘not on the ground’.

Furthermore, while a combative attitude to the global media may have helped in the past, it does not help Zimbabwe’s cause now.  Given the fact that he was interviewed from Johannesburg, South Africa, he should have taken a cue from the fact that barely a week after that country’s general election, the ANC political leaders have had a conciliatory tone toward the media. Or if they have grudges, they still manage to focus on their specific issues, despite the arrogance that a resounding victory may permit. 

Perhaps Mr. Mandiwanzira wanted to be seen as an able ‘handler’ of the BBC on behalf of his own party. Given the fact that he is a political leader in some sort of ascendancy in Zanu Pf, he would be better advised to ‘take it again from the top- and this time, calmly’.

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (

Monday, 5 May 2014

Zim Media’s Dilemma in an Age of Government Benevolence and Ambiguity

By Takura Zhangazha*

In the immediate aftermath of this year’s World Press Freedom Day commemorations, one is struck by the serious possibility that there are too many interpretations of the meaning of media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information. This, despite the fact that the new constitution guarantees these same said rights in Sections 61 and 62 of the Bill of Rights respectively.

Furthermore, the willingness of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services to have broad consultations on issues affecting the media is not necessarily shared either in Cabinet or by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP). Hence there is a general insistence by the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs to retain clauses in Acts of Parliament that continue to criminalise freedom of expression. Or the unfortunate banning of a Zimbabwe Association of Community Radio Stations (ZACRAS) and Media Alliance of Zimbabwe march on World Press Freedom Day by the police int he capital city. 

Add to this the perhaps necessarily ‘cautious’ response by journalists and media organizations to the currently ambiguous policy framework  for fear of scuttling government goodwill, and key issues become less clearer. 

What these relatively recent developments point to is a delineation of  new thought lines over the full import of the role that the media should play under a Zanu Pf government.  It is a mixture of the old with the new. 'Old’ in the sense that there is evident resistance in parts of government to decriminalize freedom of expression and of the media. ‘New’ in relation to an actively  quantitative approach to improving the media and its contribution to the economy as an ‘industry’ but with direct state regulation of the work of journalists. 

Either way, the media is in a bit of a fix that relies more on political goodwill than democratic principle for its concerns to be addressed holistically.

It is government, and at the highest level,  that must agree to repeal or amend repressive legislation such as AIPPA, POSA and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Acts. And in doing so, government has sought the direct input of not only media stakeholders but also the public through the Information Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI).  Because the latter’s full terms of reference have not officially been made public, it can only be surmised that they intend to establish a ‘common ground’ media reform agenda.  

Whether this ‘common ground’ leans more in government’s favour is perhaps something to be left to hindsight. 

The dilemma however for Zimbabwe’s media with all the goings on at policy making level is that whatever possible changes that are brought to bear on media regulation via statute or ‘industry’ considerations, these may become more or less ‘permanent’. Or at least it will take a herculean task to revisit and change them.  To therefore say the media has to be lucid on what it wants in relation to policy reform would be a literal understatement. It has to be certain beyond reasonable doubt and ambiguity together with attendant fine details in its demands on the state.

Even where key media organizations are part of IMPI, their participation  should be premised on ensuring that their democratic principles are not compromised by working directly with government or on the basis of an incremental framework that leads to regression.

There are therefore key elements that must be considered in trying to establish a somewhat consensus based holistic way forward.

These include having a firm understanding that what the new constitution offers is flawed in relation to media freedom. It gives with one hand and takes away with the other through not only retaining state regulation of the media in section 248 which establishes a Zimbabwe Media Commission (with the possibility of continued criminalization of the media).  But also through Section 86 of the Bill of Rights which does not list freedom of expression or media freedom as ones that cannot be tampered with should the state deem it necessary to do so.

It is perhaps the reform or repeal of  existing enabling Acts of Parliament that will, in the final analysis, be the determinants of any changes to media regulation, with the devil being particularly in the detail of alternative legal frameworks.  And in order to be able to give less rhetorical input, media stakeholders have to be very focused on the details of their profession’s/industry’s propositions and principles.

All ranging from media training through to broadcasting/telecommunications; access to information,; media self regulation;  national employment councils for journalists;  media owners interests; media diversity; gender in the media; decriminalization of the media; ICTs and above all serving the democratic public interest.

All of these key sectors need to considered holistically as they are all now interlinked and must be spoken to with, as far as is democratically possible, with a united voice.

Given the fact that the last three years in our country’s politics have been referred to as being those of ‘opportunity’, the media has to deal the hand that it has been dealt. Both by way of the new constitution, but also by way of government intentions and a broader vision for the democratisation of the media in Zimbabwe. This however does not mean the hand must be dealt with casually or without firm commitment to democratic principles, media professionalism or in a bid to settle old scores.

Where the media rises above the political fray and commits to its specific democratic values as a profession, history will absolve it.

*Takura Zhangazha writes here in his personal capacity (