The minister of information has ordered all state media to sieze using hate speech and support the all inclusive government in nation building. Media, Information and Publicity minister Webster Shamu met with editors from various media houses, under the public listed Zimpapers – of which government is a major share holder – and the Zimbabwe broadcasting Cooporation last week, to enforce what has been described as a major shift in editorial policy since independence in 1980.
Zimpapers flagship, The Herald, has already toned down its hate speech in a move largely expected to promote national healing as the inclusive government takes charge.
Just at the weekend The Herald night columnist “Nathaniel Manheru”, who is largely known to be President Mugabe’s spokeman George Charamba, bade farewell to his erstwhile readers in his 200 installment. Manheru said he was moving on to other things but hinted that the column could live another life for as long as the Zimbabwe is under threat.
Critics of Manheru said his writings besides being vulgar at times reflected government’s policies while safeguarding “other interests”. Not only is The Herald taking a lead in promoting national healing but also ensuring that every ministry is given space and reaching out to a nation that was once polarised. However many will remember the column for its hard hitting and painstakingly well read articles.
Another change in editorial policy of the herald is, it now refers to cabinet ministers across the political divide as comrades. With Mr Morgan Tsvangirai being referred to as comrade as well as the rest of opposition ministers, many believe that Zimbabwe is surely moving closer to unified nation.
During the meeting with the minister, state media editors were also informed that more players in the media would now be licensed.
The Mugabe regime has all along been known for its tight license regulations and closure of a number of independent newspapers which include the Daily News, Daily Mirror, Tribune and the Weekly.