Too late, we have it! 'Deleted Herald Article Attacking Al Jazeera Investigative Documentary'

Too late, we have it! 'Deleted Herald Article Attacking Al Jazeera Investigative Documentary'
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

CAUGHT IN 4K: Keen-eyed individuals at the ZimEye have found this defensive Herald article with regard to the Al Jazeera investigative documentary.
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The following text is the deleted article:

Written by Dr Masimba Mavaza - Not in the President’s name

“Al Jazeera will, in a few days, air a documentary which it will be trumpeting as a media scoop of the century. The documentary will be no more than a stringing together of a combination of fabricated incidents tarnishing the image of the innocent by associating them with corruption.

The major reason for this programme is to undermine the good work which is being done by President Mnangagwa and Zanu PF.

Al Jazeera has not embarked on a two-year clandestine investigation because they are concerned about corruption in Zimbabwe or anywhere else in the world. There are dangerous and corrupt people in the South, in the North, in the East, in and the West. Al Jazeera’s document is designed as an incendiary election campaign weapon.

The document has been two years in the making and the timing of its release is poignantly calculated to coincide with the start of our national election campaign season. There is no denying that there is corruption in our country much the same way as you will find it in any country in the world.

What is lamentable in this case is that the overriding purpose of the documentary is to interfere with the electoral process of a sovereign state. We cannot afford to have foreign news media attempting so grossly to interfere with the outcome of our election.

Al Jazeera would not dare do the same thing in Japan, in Asia, in America or in Europe. Zimbabweans must choose their destiny with no interference from foreigners. Al Jazeera’s interference is as brazen as it is nauseating. It is telling that for two years, Al Jazeera has not contacted law enforcement agencies to report any crime.

The reason is that this is not about crime from their point of view. It is about destroying Zanu PF, its leadership and facilitating regime change.

We cannot even imagine the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation doing such a thing on foreign countries. If they did, they would be banned, to say the least. The main target of Al Jazeera is obviously the President, Cde Mnangagwa. We have had too many instances where individuals take advantage of photo opportunities with the President.

These are corrupt and manipulative characters. They then do name-dropping, which is to drop the name of the President in conversations as a way of vainly boosting their empty profiles and make commerce out of it.

We have our Ambassador-At-Large Uebert Angel extensively interviewed, telling Al Jazeera how money is laundered from Zimbabwe.

What he said to Al Jazeera is damaging and aimed at soiling the name of the President. Being that as it may, Angel abused his ambassadorial position. After all, it is not everybody who stands with the President for a photo who is a patriot. The truth is that the President does not have to take photos with members of his family only or with ministers only.

He is a leader and a public figure. So, he poses for photos with every Zimbabwean who comes to meet him if the opportunity allows. It is ludicrous to suggest that anyone and everyone who shakes the hand of the President or has a photo with him is his friend or associate or acquaintance.

The truth is that he forgets most of their names as soon as the camera flash is gone. No one ever suggests that people who shake King Charles’ hand or any other leader’s hand are personally known to that leader. It is clearly mischievous and cynical to define hand-shaking with President Mnangagwa as associated with corruption. We also have a deep-seated internal problem.

Those who must protect the President from opportunistic characters seem to sometimes sleep on the wheel. The President cannot personally vet people who come and see him. That is the official job of someone. The President is entitled to assume that those that enter his office have been vetted and that appropriate officers are convinced that any audience with the President is in the national interest. Those who do not do their vetting job properly must understand the horrendous consequences of their culpable neglect.

Such neglect is so detrimental to the interest of our country and it gives opportunity for our detractors to pounce. There are so many prophets and church leaders who are deeply character flawed. They do not do anything positive while the President is in office, anyway. They use the name of the President to line their pockets and amass wealth. Uebert Angel is not Zanu PF.

He is just some alleged technocrat who submitted his application for a role to promote his country of birth. How he lives his life on a daily basis and what deals he involves himself in have nothing to do with Zanu PF or its leaders.

He is just doing like what any conman does, name dropping and anything he said in that Al Jazeera programme is his opinion.

He did not speak in His Excellency’s name. The mentioning of Mr Delish Nguwaya in the Al Jazeera programme is mischievous. Al Jazeera did not follow up on the Pomona programme. Instead of being a corrupt vehicle as Al Jazeera will say, Pomona became a state-of-the-art project which has made all the world copy it.

Nguwaya has already moved on from the scandals his enemies tried to bind him in and he is now a national hero who has turned rubbish to something great. Al Jazeera will not report the progress and the good work Nguwaya is doing, all this is because their agenda is to remove the current government and replace it with their puppets. The President has made it clear that all Zimbabweans are his people and will have no problem in posing for a photo with the whole world if time permits. In this programme, a few individuals are being singled out for a crime because they have photos with the President. Zimbabwe has its own systems of dealing with corruption and the corrupt ones will be caught very soon.

President Mnangagwa considers corruption a major challenge to his goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the poorest 100 percent of people in Zimbabwe. Corruption has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to services, including health, education and justice. Corruption in the procurement of drugs and medical equipment drives up costs and can lead to sub-standard or harmful products. The President is aware that every stolen or misdirected dollar robs the poor of an equal opportunity in life and prevents governments from investing in their human capital. Corruption erodes trust in government and undermines the social contract.

The President of Zimbabwe recognises that corruption might impact service delivery. Corruption might unfairly determine the winners of government contracts, with awards favouring friends, relatives, or business associates of government officials. Or it might come in the form of State capture, distorting how institutions work and who controls them, a form of corruption that is often the costliest in terms of overall economic impact.

Each type of corruption is bad and tackling all of them is critical to achieving progress and sustainable change. To that end, President Mnangagwa will never support corruption in any way. Corruption is a global problem that requires global solutions, so, attacking Zimbabwe while hiding behind investigative journalism is cruel. President Mnangagwa has been working to mitigate the pernicious effects of corruption. The President works with the public and private sectors as well as civil society to support efforts to prevent corruption, improve remedies to address wrongdoing when it occurs as well as work towards improving behaviours, norms, and standards needed to sustain anti-corruption efforts.

To Al Jazeera, we say your unprofessionalism will catch up with you. To those sponsoring the programme, we say let Zimbabwe run its own affairs in its own way.”