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"Media Freedom: A Vision For Prosperity" by Hillary Kundishora
(Prof Jonathan Moyo was an enemy of Press Freedom)
The electronic and print in other value driven and politically mature societies, has acted as the free marketplace of ideas, and as such there is a direct and general causal link between economic prosperity and media freedom with the exception of China, but nevertheless the success story of China does not mean to undermine the causal link prevalent in much of the third and first word nations. The existence of this unique relationship consequently raises an important thesis about economic development and it elucidates a secret for development, which has been the magic for economic prosperity in first world economies.
The media has formed an important source of a knowledge structure, which has unfortunately in some instances in history been manipulated to favour the interests of a minority and selfish click. And as such the knowledge structure has formed an important power structure most widely sought through hook and crook and in the case of Zimbabwe all tricks including unorthodox means have been elicited in order to control the media for selfish reasons remotely connected to national interests.
Media freedom in much of colonial Africa was designed by architects of the colonial establishment with a sinister agenda which was however meant to advance the cause of racial apartheid and with the advent of independence, Africa sought to open all the secret cardboards stocked with skeletons for the world to see. Zimbabwe like other postcolonial states also opened up to scrutiny thus widely embracing values of accountability as opposed to privacy.
It is interesting to note that with the leaderships increasing variance from the values that underpinned the liberation struggle in Zimbabwe the postcolonial leadership ironically later made use of the same tools box which they despised and had fought hard against, to some extent there were now selling out the cause of the struggle for personal and selfish interests devoid of national interests. The ruling party has used its political muscle to manipulate, barn and restrict access to information it considers informing to the general public, in case the public will be able make other choices for the betterment of their destiny.
It is in this context that the birth of an over regulated and partisan media industry, and archaic legislations designed to emasculate the media should be viewed as the rise of the devouring demons. Like demons they consume all the good while leaving everything around in a bad state, and Zimbabwe's state media case is in most way similar to a demon afflicted individual. The end of freedom has given birth to a media which militates against the moral value systems on which independence was based upon, the media is now used as a tool to devour the very people it was supposed to develop and assist.
State resources have been poured to the advantage, favouring sectoral interests, partisan and ZANU PF interests in general to the extent that the level of misinformation in Zimbabwe leaves a lot to be desired. Worse still the propaganda continuum is reflective from the lowest ranking officials to the highest office in the land thus the media has been guilty of complicity and not probing issues while acting as a mental inflicting venom which subject people to massive cognitive bias.
It is important that intellectuals and scholars take stock of events in Zimbabwe so that they realise the role the state media has played in undermining the rule of law and natural justice. Instead of acting as a repository and curator of the rule of law and natural justice the press has been used to churn propaganda which if consumed is damaging to the recipients and the very national interests / sovereignty it purports to protect. The Rwandan genocide provides the testimony of how an equally irresponsible media can be so dangerous to the people it is meant to develop, like an weapon the media is a dangerous tool if in the hands of misguided and immoral people who value selfish interests and Rwanda's genocide offers much convincing testimony to this thesis.
If the state media could one day cease to be a tool furthering private interest and pursue a more inclusive approach which is national than sectoral, issues could be debated and scrutinised while it is acting as marketplace for ideas crucial in informing policy formulation and implementation. The state media could then act as a watchdog of national interests-not interests of cronies but interests favouring even vulnerable members of society. In normal democracies through this way the media acts as a more reliable source of information for scholars, researchers and investors thus exhibiting and playing a causal link to economic development.
As the March 29 elections approach the state media has been conspicuous in churning out hate speech which is more sectoral than uniting in the face of crucial elections which are important in locating the compass which will be used in directing the country to prosperity. It is in this context that the role of the media in misinforming voters must not be left unchallenged, instead of responsibly reporting and offering all aspirants of public office equal chance to attract voters as is happening in America where Obama and Clinton are contesting without vilifying one another, the state media is busy presenting only the ruling party as the only peoples viable choice notwithstanding the damage it has caused to the collective aspirations of a people.
Simba Makoni a new and promising baby in opposition politics has of late been linked to the West and like Tsvangirai his predecessor they both have been branded sell-outs and an agents of imperialism, worse still Makoni has publicly been likened to a bull frog and a prostitute, of which prostitutes in the African context are heavily despised as immoral as they fall outside the mainstream of society. And for the state media it is fascinating that they have never bothered to unpack why Makoni has been a darling of ZANU PF for the past years yet today they accuse him of political promiscuity, only because he has refused to enter the books history for the wrong reasons and as such he has parted ways with the party that nurtured him.
In any other democratic country the ruling party will have been grilled as to what new there are offering to the people after presiding over the death of a once vibrant economy but alas there are the worst but being presented as the best in the general election. This raises the role of the state media in my thesis of a causal link between media freedom and economic prosperity and it indicts the state media for misinforming and diverting people from the real issues that must form the foundation for debate and consequently the election of public office bearers into public office. The diminished media freedom is responsible creating an atmosphere conducive for the proliferation of a kleptocracy, which has run down an economy once prosperous.
Like the annihilation of property rights, the level of media freedom is directly related to the decadence and the thesis further calls upon all loving and spiritual connected citizens to work extra hard to create a media which is free and accessible which consequently act as a source of reliable information and a curator of the peoples rights. The presents of an election offer the masses of Zimbabwe a chance of renewal and to choose the path to prosperity or continue the present path of doom, and for those in dire need of economic revival it is also indispensable that there be a free media in order that we achieve a stable economy.
In fact it is crucial that we revert back to valuing the constitution, which is the supreme document that governs and lays out the rule law and freedom of expression as a corner stone for economic prosperity.
Hillary Kundishora is a scholar of strategic management. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org and join more discourse on vision prosperity at www.zimchaiyo.blogspot.com.
PLEASE CHECK THESE OUT!!!!!!
- "POLITICAL POVERTY.... IS IT IN THE MDC OR IN THE NGOs?" by T CHAMANYAWI.
- "THE NGO SHARKS THAT FEED ON THE ZIM CRISIS!" by TAMBANAVO CHAMANYAWI!!
- "ARTHUR MUTAMBARA...THE WORLD's LUCKIEST POLITICIAN!" by TAMBANAVO CHAMANYAWI!!!
- STATEMENT BY MDC PRESIDENT TSVANGIRAI ON THE DECISION TO JOIN ZANU-PF IN GOVERNMENT!!!
- REV HOVE'S PERSONAL APPEAL!!
- NDEBELE BROTHER GIVES VERY SAD STORY ABOUT "GUKURAHUNDI"!!!
- PHOTOS OF REV HOVE'S WOUNDS FROM BULLET WOUNDS AT SADC PRETORIA DEMO!!!
- "ARSONISTS ATTEMPT TO KILL MY FAMILY IN ZIM!" by Rev M S Hove.
- " I WISH NO MERRY XMAS TO NOBODY!" by Rev Mufaro Stig Hove!
- "BATTLE OF THE TWO ELLIOTS THAT NEVER WAS!" by ELLIOT PFEBVE!!!
- "PROPERTY RIGHTS AN AVENUE TO AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT" by H KUNDISHORA!!!
- "MBEKI MISLEADING G8 ON ZIMBABWE!!!" by GARIKAI CHIMUKA!!!
- "WHAT ARE THE AFRICAN INTERESTS IN ZIMBABWE???" asks Hillary Kundishora.
- THE SA COMMUNIST PARTY ASKED ZANU-PF WHY THEIR "REVOLUTION" IS NOT ACCEPTED BY STRATEGIC SECTIONS OF ZIMBABWEANS!
- "The Brand Zimbabwe" by Hillary Kundishora.
- "Polokwane Congress Must Uphold Mandela Legacy" by Garikai Chimuka.
- "To What Extent Does Economic Strategy and Planning Reflect Kleptocracy?" by Hillary Kundishona.
- "HOW TO DO THE FINAL PUSH WITHOUT FIRING A SINGLE SHOT!" by Rev M S Hove.
- REV HOVE ASKED TO COMMENT ON ZIMBABWEANS ALLEGEDLY COMMITTING CRIMES IN SA!!!
- COMMENTS ON THE NEED FOR AN ARMED STRUGGLE!
- HOT DEBATE FOLLOWING: "THE SHARKS THAT FEED ON THE ZIM CRISIS!"
- "TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR ZIMBABWE OPPOSITION" by Garikai Chimuka.
- "GENDER AND AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT" by Hillary Kundishora.