By Itai Muzondo
The Masvingo Zanu(PF) provincial chairperson,Paradzai Chakona said newspapers must report positively on political parties and not always report negatively.He said this at the belated World Press Freedom Day celebrations held recently in Masvingo at Charles Austin’s theatre.
Addressing a panel of journalists and Great Zimbabwe University media students, Chakona dared attendants to write positively about Zanu(PF) and opposition MDCs before saying that negative publicity towards political parties has not worked since they are still standing firm.
“Write positively on Zanu(PF) and even MDC and see what happens. Desist from the negative comments you have been writing because of the long period you have done so, it has not worked. The parties are still standing firm,” said Chakona.
On the sidelines of fired Masvingo bigwigs, Dzikamai Mavhaire, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti and Dr Paul Chimedza not neglecting suspended Walter Mzembi, Chakona said it is the media that fought down Masvingo politicians who had grown national images via positive reportage but now crumbling because of the new twist in negative reports by the media towards them.
“If you write positively about your leaders, you would have not done well for that leader only but the province’s visibility as a whole.
“Look at what happened to the big politicians from this province, at one time they were big and grown national images but because of the press they have fallen down to zero because of negative reporting from the media. It is therefore the media that decides how politicians rise from Masvingo. So it is your duty as journalists to practice responsible and developmental reporting from a positive perspective,” said Chakona.
Meanwhile, Chakona justified the much criticised presidential trips which have been reported to amass a total of 140 000 km with a total cost of US$50 million. He said it is normal with leaders that they are invited to address critical issues everywhere as he urged journalist that they should not be judgemental that the funds used are from the nation’s coffers as they may realise that Southern Africa Development Committee (SADC) and African Union (AU) are responsible for all the costs.
“It is normal with leaders to be invited and address critical issues across the globe just as I did here, you called me as the Zanu(PF) Chairperson and i am here not meaning that there is no one else awaiting my attention elsewhere. You must not be judgemental as well on the costs of the president’s trips as you never know on the logistics of either SADC or AU on funding such trips,” defended Chakona