State radio and television carried reports last week which said Prime Minister Tsvangirai had received money from Western governments to launch a campaign in the private press to spruce his image following damaging reports about his failed engagement and allegations that he was a womanizer.
On Friday the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation quoted a former MDC legislator-turned Zanu-PF proxy, Gabriel Chaibva, naming the three editors – Brian Mangwende (Newsday), Nevanji Madanhire (Standard) and Stanley Gama (Daily News) – as having pocketed unspecified dollars from the PM, charges the three editors vehemently deny.
The editors are understood to be consulting their respective lawyers over Chaibva’s allegations they say are tantamount to libel or defamation.
“We are going to take Chaibva head-on. This is below the belt. We want to take him to the cleaners for misinforming the nation and soiling our names,” said one of the editors, speaking strictly is not named.
“We know where this trash is coming from but we will expose the culprits when the time comes,” he added.
The state broadcaster alleged that Tsvangirai spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka and Minister of State Jameson Timba, attached to the prime minister’s office, were “key point-men in the whole saga.”
Tamborinyoka dismissed the corruption charges against Tsvangirai telling reporters that the reports were “rubbish, arrant nonsense.”
Daily News Editor Gama described the allegations as false and libellous. On Saturday he wrote a lengthy article in his paper flatly denying the accusations.