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Zimbabwe state media no.1 on hate speech – report
in Zimbabwe Coalition
August 27, 2013
this article on the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition website
state-controlled media is the leading propagator of hate speech,
a trend which was more pronounced one month before the July
31 harmonised elections, according to a research done by a media
monitoring non-governmental organization.
Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) released a report in which
it proved through diligent monitoring of the country’s print
and broadcast news that the state media had churned the most hate
speech in June 2013, showing an unmitigated trend that the MMPZ
unearthed since its inception in 1999.
research by the Media Monitoring Project has established that hate
language is endemic to the Zimbabwean mainstream media, particularly
the state-controlled arm of these media,” the non-governmental
organisation said in the report titled, Hate Speech and the Media
which revealed that the state controlled The Herald newspaper recorded
38% in “counts of messages of hatred and intolerance”
along the national television station, ZTV, whereas former Tsholotsho
legislator and Zanu-PF member, Prof. Jonathan Moyo was found to
be the leading hate preacher through his opinion pieces.
The report revealed
that hate speech in the private daily newspaper Daily News had gone
down by 57% between May and June.
Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) chief executive officer Tafataona
Mahoso was a notable perpetrator of hate speech during the month
of June on the ZTV Current Affairs programme African Pride.
is prohibited in Section 61 subsection 5 (a-d) of the Constitution
of Zimbabwe, Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and section
16 F of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act.
Law (Codification and Reform) Act outlaws “criminal insult”,
which “seriously impairs the dignity of another person”
while the Constitution of Zimbabwe restricts freedom of expression
when it is likely to result in “advocacy of hatred or hate
speech…or malicious or unwarranted breach of a person’s
right to privacy”.
Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the Movement for Democratic Change
(MDC) party were the main hate speech targets, followed closely
in the line of attack by South Africa’s Lindiwe Zulu, international
relations adviser to South African President Jacob Zuma and by Non-Governmental
The Herald was responsible for spreading hate messages in its editorial
Minister Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party were the most targeted group
in the government media.
targets of the language of hate were non-governmental organisations
and other political parties, all contained in the State-run media.
victims were members of the international community critical of
included South African President’s international relations
adviser, Lindiwe Zulu, who is also a member of Zuma’s facilitation
team in the Zimbabwe political dialogue acting on behalf of SADC,”
the report says.
of hate speech included dehumanizing metaphors, insulting, false
and divisive language, flawed argumentation and falsehoods, which
were peddled through print media opinion pieces and the ZTV Current
Affairs program African Pride.
The four methods
of hate speech identified in the MMPZ report follow a categorization
borrowed from a study into hate speech on American commercial radio
by Noriega and Iribarren in 2009 plus a fifth category identified
by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration
of America in 1993 as speech advocating violence.
(AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) electoral
observers who were recently in the country noted in their preliminary
reports that the state media was biased towards Zanu-PF during the
July 31 elections, reinforcing the findings of the MMPZ report.
At a Bulawayo
conference organized by Crisis in Zimbabwe (CiZC) in June 2013,
83 Zimbabwean non-governmental organisations endorsed the Feya Feya
campaign one of whose objectives has been to demand “fair
and equal chance to be covered in the public media” for all
political parties and citizens.
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