The Mugabe… I mean… The Zimbabwe Herald Today

You have to read the state-owned Zimbabwe Herald to appreciate just how ridiculously extensive Mugabe-an control over this excuse-for-a-newspaper is. If the matter was not so serious, it could even be downright funny – like a good old April Fool’s Joke. His propaganda litters all the pages, at an enormous density per square inch. There is no attempt to camouflage it – on the contrary, it is right in your face.


The editor and the journalists are anonymous as are most of the sources quoted. The golden thread of the paper is that the mess Zim finds it in is no fault of Mugabe: There are strong conspiracy-type theory undertones; and everything and everybody other than Bob, are blamed. The underlying message is venom and hate. Not a pleasurable reading experience at all.


Here are some of the headlines forced on their captive readership today:


Headline 1: ‘Tsvangirai Begs for VP Post’ by anonymous Herald Reporters

“MDC faction leader Morgan Tsvangirai asked Zanu-PF to accommodate him as one of the Vice Presidents in a government of national unity after being told by his advisors that a possible run-off with President Mugabe for the top job was not in his best interests, The Herald can reveal…”

Okay, you get the gist… the rest of the article – all 975 words – quoted a variety of sources – all of which were (naturally) anonymous and, to appease the Zanu-PF handler, a fair dollop of Anti-MDC Anti-Tsvangirai Anti-The-Rest-OF-The-Evil-World propaganda was added for good measure.



Headline 2: ‘Don’t withhold goods; Govt warns business’ by anonymous Herald Reporters

“GOVERNMENT expects the business sector to fulfil its social responsibility by ensuring continued supply of basic commodities as opposed to dabbling in politics as part of the regime change agenda, a senior official has said.”

This comes in the wake of the increasingly empty shelves in the Zimbabwean shops. So, what is the reaction of Mugabe? You are right, blame business for this and be silent about the fact that his government has not been importing enough Maize and that they are not exactly paying their Maize accounts either…  and, to be honest, the warning is not a warning, it is a threat…


Headline 3: ‘Let’s protect heritage during run-off’ by anonymous Editor

“Fellow Zimbabweans, as we head for a possible presidential run-off, let us make an informed decision best for the future generations and us.”

Starting with an impassioned appeal the remainder of the article launches into a full frontal attack on white settlers: past present and future. He pointed to the fate of Malawi under British influence and extolled the virtues of the Cubans. Anonymous editor neither made an attempt at disguising his racial hate speak, nor of his intentions to fuel it. Quite chilling, actually.


Headline 4: Poll results: Solve anomalies first by anonymous Editor

“I have been following election-related events over the past few days and conspiracies and counter-conspiracies that have been emerging over delays in announcing presidential poll results.”

Naturally, Editor blames it all on the MDC. He accuses them of rigging, tampering, yak, yak, yak… and then – as could be expected – dedicates the second half of the article to hurling a variety of personal insults at Morgan Tsvangirai.  


Headline 5: White Farmers Free to Apply for Land by {nobody}

“WE salute the police for moving in to stop the new wave of farm occupations that threatened to engulf the countryside, and war veterans for heeding police directives to move out of the farms they occupied in retaliation to threats by hordes of white former commercial farmers.”

Yup, hordes, I am sure…there were 4,000 to start of with, but that was a long, long time ago. Now there are only 300, minus 8, and they are spread all over the country. Be that as it may.., The article warns (or threatens, you decide) these imaginary hordes of farmers that:  ”…those who are lucky enough to still hold farms continue harbouring the unrepentant farmers without counselling against provocative actions, they only serve to brew mistrust in the State and the populace. This mistrust may culminate in a take-over of the remaining white-held farms for distribution to landless black Zimbabweans, many of whom are on the waiting list.” Then, in the very last sentence white farmers who have left Zim are invited to return where they can “apply for resettlement just like other citizens.” Need I say more? Perhaps, best that I don’t.



On the off-beat side, the property and entertainment sections of the newspaper were …well…empty. I wonder why?



13 Responses

  1. Mugabe is alright and the Herald should speak for the people of Zimbabwe who are targeted by that anti-Shona stuff emanating from the Calcutta Convention.They, the enermies of Shona people had for long conspired to do away with this tribe.
    Now they expect us to be confined to that right to remain silent when they openly make plans to destroy us.Somebody has to speak for us lest we perish in silence.They expect us to remain silent when they are already repeating the evil plans they have always had,in Congo.
    When we say that it is wrong we hear a lot of discord everywhere.They expect us to remain silent when they are carrying out their practice sessions in Afghanistan with a view to kill in just the same way they carried out the practice sessions in N.Ireland with the same view to kill.They expect us to remain silent when all they think about in Africa is Rick Nelson and the Garden Party and operation market gardening.
    Enough is enough.These people are no good.

  2. Choice of the President is is matter for the Military to decide for they know better who is the enermy and who is not.The Liberation war veterans are in a position to account on this matter in just the same way the operation in the D.R.C. can also attribute to the choices we make. We have been subjects of colonial oppression at the hands of the colonial master and the two Zulu quarter masters and we fought a bitter struggle to earn our sovereignty to just hand it away on a free platter like that.We lost many cadres(family members) to earn right to these resources and the next President is obviously not going to be a power sharing dim-wit and puppet of the Conservative and Labour aristocrats.. Power sharing was the most stupid thing the opposision ever did and their final mistake for it tantamounts to treason or aggravate the offence of treason the sell-out is being accused of.You are aware that we are not prepared to hand back power to the oppressors and that is what “herald” is supposed to mean.The trumpet heralding success and sovereignty.

  3. The Herald is at its most pathetic these days. The election, the post election unity government and now finally Robert Mugabe’s repeated and constant request for sanction withdrawal. The Herald posts ridiculous stories on governments agreeing to help – which are immediately condemned as false. If the situation weren’t so serious it would be laughable.

  4. I am Zimbabwean and i am ashamed how most of us have stooped so low. Zimbabweans who are gaining from the current system have sold their souls to the devil.Defending Mugabe in any way shows your depravity.
    To say that what the state controlled media is pouring to the masses is ok as long as other countries are doing it? if ever they do!
    I bet all in defense of Zanu are Shona?!(Now you have a reason of labelling me a tribalist!)…..Straw grasping Zanu Pf supporters!,hiding behind racial hatred making a zillion Zim dollars on the long suffering Zim population. May the Lord forgive you.

  5. I don’t deny that the Herald is a pawn of the government, but the Western media is just as bad. I don’t support Mugabe at all, but if you look at this newspaper it is no better than looking at all the MDC-T mouthpieces that are in Zimbabwe, particularly on the internet, and the neoconservative Western Media which I can get in my home country, Britain. In a way you have to look at both sides, but I would say a newspaper like this is good for getting the other side, and approaching just how flawed Tsvangirai, the guy kicked out of his own party for breaking his own constitution (sound familiar?) is. He is going to become the new Musharraff if he takes over, and privatize Zimbabwe. It isn’t hard to work out, if only you’d open you’re eyes. PS- Tsvangirai is a faction of MDC. Mutambara owns MDC. Long live Mutambara.

  6. y nt leave mugabe alone wt hs Zimbabwe.leave hm protect hs and our sovereignty.W, u, him, her,them, m, and us nd our peace and democracy so y nt leave Zimbabweans alone. or else u wl follow the likes of Mwanawasa coz mugabe’s juju frm Banda real works ungadlali ngayo. .

  7. I always read different newspapers and hear from different sources about Zimbabwe or even see on my own. Notice what? Surprisingly, the Herald always states some lies. I wonder what sort of editors, who just like telling the lies to the world. The same way Mugabe speaks, so does the Herald paper. I am not insulting President Mugabe, but at least the media should publish the truth as it is. Is the newpaper suppose to be the campining media in politics? I dnt think so. We want to hear what is happening around nt only the lies. If Herald could serve its purpose, we could otherwise have had about all the bad things happening in the country. I think the editors are also full of corrupt minds.

  8. Just a few quick responses
    1) mabhunu muchapera: What an ambassador you are for your country. A real Mugabean, forsooth! Readers – this is the typical mentality. Where the ability to intelligently debate something is absent, abuse invariably is the substitute.
    2)ampsashepsu: Glad you approve of being fed on Herald drivel. It is just sooooo much easier than thinking, now isn’t it. Enjoy!
    3) Unfounded? Bernard, when last have you read the Herald…if ever. Or, the rest of the world’s newspapers for that matter? For some reason you are on about Imperialist Western Media. When I last looked the Zim Herald was state owned and there WAS NO SUCH thing as Imperialist Western owned media, easter bunnies, tooth fairies and so forth. Sorry to ruin your fun.

  9. You make a lot of unfounded allegations , aganist the Herald NEWSPAPER. You point out that editorials are anonymous. So what new about that , most editorial opion in Western NEWSPAPERS are anonymous. As for quoting a unnamed source this is also rife in all sections of the Western Private Press. Most private Western MEDIA, , when it comes to politics , will without doubt , side with the political leanings of the ownership . When it comes to forign affairs it will always toe the Goverment line , no matter what. You have not dicovered anything unique ,about the Herald , that is not rife throughout the Imperialist Western Media.

  10. so what if the harold is the mouth peice fo mugabe? is’nt bbc, cnn, fox, the out let for white supremacy?

  11. I used to write a regular blog about Zimbabwean politics and, as part of that, read the Herald daily.

    It’s nice to see someone reached the same conclusion as me. In fact, you pretty much summed up my perspective on the Herald perfectly.

    I am the last person in the world who would apologise for their vitriolic tones, but perhaps we need to show a little bit of perspective:

    If it wasn’t this set of ‘journalists’ writing and editing the paper, it would be another one. They cannot protest else they will go the same was some MDC activists.

    As a journalist myself, I would like to think that, thrust into the intense politice scenario the Herald staff were thrown into circa 2000 I would resign on grounds of compromised impartiality, but to some reporters, earning a living is more important than ethical issues.

  12. uri mhara yemunhu and you do not know what you are talking about – stick your fucking ass where it belongs and leave our country alone

    • You must be damn pro-Mugabe idiot not to see this in The Herald. Asi ndiwe Grace?

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