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Weekly Media Review - Issue 12
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
Monday March 21st - Sunday March 27th 2011
April 01, 2011
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media take sides in battle of the Moyos
for the post of Speaker of Parliament between ZANU PF and the MDC-T,
Tuesday by MDC-T's Lovemore Moyo after the Supreme
Court had set aside his initial election, was a prominent feature
in the media this week.
The official media openly
campaigned for the ZANU PF candidate for the post, party chairman
Simon Khaya Moyo, while maligning the credentials of Lovemore Moyo.
Of the 11 reports that these media carried on the two's prospects
of landing the post, including profiles, six approvingly reported
on Khaya Moyo's credentials while five were dismissive of those
of Lovemore Moyo.
An analysis piece carried
in The Sunday Mail (27/3), for example, 'exposed' the MDC-T candidate's
alleged failure during his tenure as Speaker, which reportedly included
an overbearing attitude and "disrespect" for MPs, while
it marketed Khaya Moyo as a "scholar", "astute politician
and diplomat" whose "impeccable curriculum vitae"
would bring dignity to the Speakership.
In a front-page report,
the paper also reported on how the "former de-facto" Speaker
of the House of Assembly faced arrest for contempt of court for
his alleged attack on the judiciary after the Supreme Court nullified
his election to that post, which an unnamed lawyer contended "raised
doubts about his suitability for the speakership".
The official media endorsed
Clerk of Parliament Austin Zvoma's postponement of the resumption
of business in Parliament on Tuesday, March 22nd to facilitate fresh
elections for the Speaker, his decision to bar Lovemore Moyo from
participating in parliamentary activities and strip him of his parliamentary
privileges on the grounds that he could not revert to his previous
position as Matobo MP, without balancing it with expert independent
views. Expert legal opinions included advice from constitutional
lawyer Lovemore Madhuku and even Attorney-General Johannes Tomana
who both argued that, according to law, Lovemore Moyo should revert
to his former position as Matobo MP (The Herald, 22/3).
Neither did these media
raise questions on the timing of the arrest and detention of some
MDC-T MPs, which the private media viewed as a ZANU PF ploy to whittle
down the MDC-T's parliamentary majority ahead of the election for
the Speaker. Reportedly, the number of MPs from ZANU PF and MDC-T
stood tied at 98 each with the smaller MDC faction led by Welshman
Ncube contributing seven.
The private media quoted
the MDC-T criticizing Zvoma for cancelling a parliamentary session,
widely expected to hold elections for a new Speaker, as unilateral
and a ploy to give ZANU PF more time to strategize (Studio 7 and
ZimOnline, 22& 24/3).
They also quoted analysts
and the smaller MDC formation, which eventually decided to back
Lovemore Moyo's candidacy at the weekend, viewing the latest crackdown
on MDC-T MPs as a scheme by ZANU PF to win the Speaker's election
(Daily News, 27/3).
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