By John Chimunhu|
Now Daily News Analysis|
The United States government-run Voice of America’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe programme recently broadcast a curiously tainted story by Ndimyake Mwakalyele claiming that the Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai had been abandoned by Western governments.
Unfortunately, in a typically shoddy piece of journalism, the VOA report relied entirely on one unofficial source, Marion Tupy, a researcher at the Washington-based Cato Institute for Global Liberty. Tupy’s highly personalized comments were not backed up by any official references. Considering the damaging impact that story has already had on Tsvangirai and the whole pro-democracy movement in Zimbabwe, it is fairly obvious that the VOA should have contacted the said Western governments to get their official positions, on the record. That could easily be done, at the cost of a few phone calls and e-mails.
Then, naturally, they should have interviewed Tsvangirai himself to get his views.
The reasons advanced by the Cato researcher for Tsvangirai’s purported loss of support are totally irrational. In fact, they sounded a lot like a regurgitation of vindictive statements from Tsvangirai’s opponents in the MDC Renewal Team, devoid of facts.
We were told that the West had withdrawn support for Tsvangirai because of the ‘dismal’ performance of the GNU coalition government and his failure to win the 2013 elections.
Any rational journalist would have taken the researcher and the said Western governments to task over those two points.
The failure to meet GNU targets was not of Tsvangirai’s doing. Even SADC, the guarantor of the Global Political Agreement acknowledged this. It will be remembered how regional leaders made numerous, furious and desperate attempts to get president Robert Mugabe to toe the line but failed, through various emmergency summit resolutions.
On the 2013 elections, it would be the height of folly to ignore, as Tupy did, the fact that the vote was hopelessy rigged in favour of Mugabe. In fact, Western governments were barred from observing the elections by the Zimbabwean dictator because they were fraught with irregularies such as the absence of a voters roll and refusal by Mugabe agents to register millions of MDC voters in Zimbabwe and outside.
A recent, credible survey by the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute showed that Tsvangirai remains the country’s most popular politician who would beat Mugabe and all others in a free and fair contest. It is fairly obvious that the VOA story is not official US government policy. Rather, it is the work of desperate propagandists who have hijacked VOA Studio 7 and turned it into a deadly arsenal in the fight to destroy the charismatic Tsvangirai and replace him with the flip-floppers on Mugabe’s payroll.
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