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New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
Daily Media Referendum Watch - Issue 01
The Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe
March 12, 2013
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promote ‘Vote Yes’ campaign
campaign by Zimbabwe’s main parties for the public to vote
for the draft constitution in Saturday’s referendum appeared
to resonate with the media.
The media carried
10 stories on these campaigns, four of which were in the government
media. The remaining six appeared in the private media. All media
reported President Mugabe’s ZANU PF and the MDC of Prime Minister
Tsvangirai as having taken the campaign to all the country’s
provinces, with the MDC-T going as far as South Africa, urging Zimbabweans
to support the draft.
media gave more publicity to the MDC-T’s ‘Vote Yes’
campaign. It was a subject in four of the six stories these media
carried on political parties’ promotion for a ‘Yes’
vote in the referendum. The remaining two reports were on joint
rally held by the three coalition parties in Harare’s high-density
suburb of Mbare.
the official media ignored the individual campaigns for the adoption
of the proposed constitution by the MDC, preferring only to publicise
the joint rally held by the coalition parties in Mbare, a development
that seemed to expose the extent of media polarisation in the way
they report pertinent national political developments in the country.
while the official state media gave emphasis to senior ZANU PF officials
claiming that the new constitution served the party’s interests
and accusing the MDC-T of having been opposed to it; the private
media reported the MDC-T making counteraccusations.
None of these
media tested the veracity of such claims for the benefit of their
In one such
case, ZBC (10/3, 8pm) and The Herald (11/3) passively reported ZANU
PF’s deputy secretary for finance Charles Tavengwa telling
party supporters in Mbare: “The draft is pro-people and ZANU
PF should endorse it to set the tone for a resounding victory in
the impending elections. All our rights are contained in the draft
and there is no need for going against it. Some retrogressive people
have tried blocking it, but they have failed.”
also reported explaining why ZANU PF supporters must support the
draft: “The document also safeguards the values of the liberation
struggle and states that we should be masters of our destiny through
He added: “The
President has got his powers in the draft and it is also important
to note that the document is a victory for women”.
the Daily News (11/3) approvingly reported MDC national organizing
secretary Nelson Chamisa telling party supporters in Kuwadzana,
Harare yesterday that the draft “is a product of the MDC”,
claiming, “ZANU PF was actually against the draft charter”.
NewsDay (11/2) reported Tsvangirai as having made similar claims
at a rally in Karoi.
Zimbabweans to vote for the draft on the basis that the new constitution
“gives free education to primary schoolchildren and gives
women access to power and authority” (Daily News, 11/3).
reported Chamisa telling the same gathering to support the draft
because it had “good things like the Bill of Rights that is
second to none on the African continent”.
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