Wed. Jul 17th, 2019

The African Democrats: Of media images, scarves and current affairs

To make matters worse, scarf doesn’t even capture Zim colours, scarf doesn’t unite or inspire citizens, says TAD's Marco Machona

This week Zimbabwe Digital News sat down with The African Democrats President Marco Machona and discussed a range of issues, including current affairs and Zimbabwean policits. This is what he said

Analysing President Mnangagwa’s state media relations

This is a wierd because some years ago, I worked for ZBC/ZTV. Then we would thrive and take pride in asking well researched questions, the most provocative questions, upfront and mix with questions in public domain.

Despite world media platforms to learn from, journalists at ZBC, ZTV, Herald, Chronicle have failed not just to learn, adopt and copy best practices, but failed audiences over the years and missed opportunities to relate with public.

These journalists are a disgrace to journalism, public spaces and airtime they represent.

Zim in general cant afford to watch let alone listen to theae state controlled media. We had expected that under President ED, Zim would implement media reforms, hire the best minds in journalism and promote freedom of speech.

But fear still grips journalists who operating in zim. Bootlicking is a means of survival by many of these journalists.

Friendly queations and patronizing ED is a culture that dates back to Mugabe and has never changed. Its te to clean up these state media and replace these corrupted journalists with fresh minds and technology to advance journalism in the country

President’s Public Image

That scarf would have been a symbol of change, success, new diapensation and progress if he had succeeded.

That scarf is now a symbol of ridicle and failure. Judging from daily comments and jokes levelled against ED amd his scarf, its rather too late o change perceptions associated with that scarf.

To make matters worse, scarf doesn’t even capture Zim colours, scarf doesn’t unite or inspire citizens. Its too late for him to change and public mockery wont stop either. Scarf is now a symbol of suffering –

Gukurahundi

I am not so sure how much Rwanda or President Paul Kagame had to do with this approach. To be honest, it took me by surprise, yes there was pressure, but that’s not new to Zanu-PF, public demands have never moved Zanu-PF.

I think its a great move though, but no amount of money, apology or reburial will bring those people back or closure for the surviving.

The bad image, crimes againat humanity and reputation of Zanu-PF wont change or improve. In fact, after so many years, we doubt the sincerity or a ploy to clean up ED international image. Back o back shooting of protesters by the military, in August 2018 and January, 2019 are proof that Gukurahundi was no mistake but well calculated and executed. Zim needs to join ICC / Hague to make aure all perpetrators are brought to book.

Land Reform

The whole chaotic land reform was never to really address the imbalance or share the land, land was given to Zanu-PF supporters, the re-distribution was skewed, un fair and undemocratic.

Only a fraction of certain people benefited from land reform. TAD position is to redistribute land again, based on needs of all Zimbabweans.

Compensation

President ED is not clear on compensating white farmers, we have various pending issues and court. The same Zim white farmers are suing SA govt and also hope to receive compensation. But should these white farmers go back to the same land, then its a reverae and undoing what we already suffered for

Zanu PF has never been very clear in title deeds, methods used and demonstration of transparency is missing and lacking – we need a re-do of land reform.

From the start land reform discriminated those who didn’t support it – do wasn’t fair to majority – a re-do of land reform with technology to farm and produce – with a purpose.

Media changes

President ED is clearly better than President Bob on social media – and those who defend him… its part of democracy – he has been allowed a presence on spocial media by his handlers. That has brought some air of communication, but it is all propaganda.

TAD media transformation seeks to use technology to gather data, use technology as a tool to create content and news. Serious education, training amd allow those in diaspora play a role in shaping Zim future media – technical, branding and a total of all reforms.

We need all voices to be heard. When I met a certain media owner, and told him that he was captured – in a workshop, he fumed at me – we had never met but I still think I was right.

We have two camps of media in Zim… Zanu-PF and its own camp and Independent media belongs to MDC. The rest of us are caught inbetween – without mouthpieces – so we go social media and we are expanding and it works.

Zim media is too rigid or impractical to change – they can’t. We need to clean up from reception to the field. Watch this space.

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