Europe is using media to push an agenda on Zimbabwe : Haru Mutasa

TOP Zimbabwean journalist Harugumi Rozabella Mutasa, who is the Al Jazeera correspondent for Africa, has asked Zimbabwean media to pose and ponder why European nations are “pushing a certain narrative” against Zimbabwe.

In a rather cryptic tweet, Haru Mutasa said: “Attack me all u want…. but as media ask yourselves why countries like Britain, US, France, Germany want to push a certain narrative ….. we are often used, lets change it as media, not be manipulated all the time.”

Haru Mutasa also urged Zimbabweans to travel more in Africa, so that they appreciate their country.

“Zimbabweans need to travel more in Africa, you will appreciate your home countries more,” she said.

Her sentiments come on the back a document published by the Zimbabwe government on the security situation in the country.

In a document dated 30 January 2019 following the violent protests of mid-January, the Government of Zimbabwe accused local media, international media and the opposition MDC of fabricating cases of abuse by State security agents ahead of the European Union summit of which is set to be held this week.

“The objective is to bring Zimbabwe under the spotlight ahead of the EU summit of early February 2019, so that Zimbabwe can remain under sanctions” reads the Government report.

The document also notes that Jennifer Williams, the leader of a Bulawayo-based Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), has stated that despite the fact that her organization provides sanctuary to victims of rape, it had not received any cases at its offices and was only reading about women rape and abuse by soldiers in the media.

Williams tweeted that her organisation was yet to verify rape incidents in Bulawayo: “Rape has no place in our society and I would be first to shout about it but I prefer to see for myself the victim so I can also give practical support. So far since yesterday we have not verified rape incidents in Bulawayo.”

Williams explained further how they offer practical help: “Once WOZA identifies violation we 1st try to provide practical help 2nd facilitate any relevant specialist help. 3rd ask victims to tell their story n link to journos. We do not receive grants for this work we do unto others as has been done for us.”

Williams also agreed to some views:

Verification of these abuses should be done and victims encouraged to report to victim friendly organisations who should then help report and pressure the gvt to act on the perpetrators, reporting to the foreign press/gvts first only trivialises the matter and smacks of hypocrisy.”

The Zimbabwe Government believes while some abuses have happened, the media reports are fabricated to drive an agenda.

An EU Summit takes place on Tuesday in the Cypriot capital of Nicosia.

The Government report adds: “The objective is also to force the United Nations. Human Rights Commission and the International Criminal Court to pronounce themselves on developments happening in Zimbabwe.

The United Nations has already condemned how the Zimbabwe authorities handled the violent protests.

South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), has also threatened to report President Mnangagwa to the ICC.

He accused Mnangagwa and Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga of committing crimes against humanity and revealed that the DA was forging ahead with its plans to take the two to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

This follows the shooting to death of 12 people and the injury of over 78 civilians, who suffered gunshot wounds after the military took a leading role in quelling violent protests during a three-day stayaway called by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions.

Over 700 people were arrested during the clampdown and the Law Society of Zimbabwe has raised concerns about the way the cases are being handling, arguing the judiciary had been compromised.