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Ngoma, Kalabash, Magamba Network
December 21, 2012
you thought real beef is Winky D and Badman you have to check again,"
says rapper Irie Ian. According to Mos Def "beef is real life
happening everyday." Real beef is the political polarisation
or discourse that has been experienced in the country for the past
decade and that beef has been fuelled by the media. Tune into the
radio and you'll often hear hate speech crackle into clarity.
Pick up a paper and do a word search for hate speech. It won't
take you long to find some.
research done by the Media
Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ) in August/September 2011
Zimbabwean broadcast and print media have produced many examples
of hate speech or have had content that portrays hate in one way
or the other.
is usually intended to incite hostility against another person or
people and it can cause catastrophic situations. Hate speech is
a world-wide phenomenon and it basically means the use of language
intended to degrade a person, race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual
orientation, moral and political views, mental capacity, disability
etc. It is employed to repel supporters and sympathisers from a
target and usually the perpetrators of hate speech are politicians,
state media columnists, editors, various political actors and religious
figures. The victims are the public, individual organisations and
The media in
most cases has been used as a tool to deliver these messages. Nelson
Madondo said that ‘in Arabic countries if you were described
as a rat you could be killed,' a fact which goes to show that
the media can influence events in society. Look back to Rwanda,
it's people divided by machetes and the poison of hate speech.
Too many lives were lost at the hands of the brainwashed.
head of research and monitoring at MMPZ, said that ‘in Zimbabwe
the media creates a fictitious image of people like accusing someone
of being a sell-out.' Other people have different views concerning
the role of the media in the process. Tafara Chigumira from ZBC
asked, ‘Are people all passive listeners/readers of information
that they go act upon what they either read or hear from the media?'
The Zimbabwean media however has, over the past decades, singled
out individuals who are against ZANU PF policies like the Land Reform
Programme. Andrew Moyse, the MMPZ Coordinator, argued that, ‘Hate
language is based on falsehood without facts, for example, Tsvangirai
is a puppet of the West, Mugabe is a puppet of the East. Because
there are not really specific legal frameworks to counter hate speech,
media houses should achieve self regulatory bodies.'
In the end,
the media should refrain from using hate speech as it reflects very
badly on a media house if a person is to claim that he/she was given
the right to kill by a certain media house. In other countries they
have checks and balances for hate speech but in Zimbabwe the GPA,
Law (Codification and Reform) Act and Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission Act are not really focused on the crackdown
on hate speech.
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