Anyone who reads The Herald will agree with me that instead of offering balanced views, or even pretending to do so, The Herald has always acted as a mouthpiece of ZANU PF. However despite blatantly supporting the ruling party The Herald has consistently maintained that it is a neutral newspaper.
But in an article in today’s edition titled “This is not how Comrades behave” which appears to be both an admonition of senior Zanu-PF officials and advice on how ZANU PF should conduct its internal elections all pretense fell off. The article itself isn’t very clear; it tries to posit The Herald as an ethical paper that adheres to journalistic standards- even going as far as quoting Mr Eric Blair (George Orwell) – and at the same time tries to apologise for any offence it might cause to President Mugabe.
Perhaps emboldened by ZANU PF’s victory in the July elections the writer brazenly writes:
“We defer to our National Flag, the national and public interest. We back Zanu-PF as long as it upholds the ideals that inspired its formation”
What follows is a surprising, if thinly veiled, confession of having been used by politicians in the past:
“Gone are the days, if there were ever there, of being used by dwarfish politicians in giant robes. Our mandate is to tell the truth and not to assuage the fears of insecure politicians.
While the privately owned tabloids can afford to entertain the conspiracy theories for their selfish interests, we are a paper of record. We owe it to our readers and advertisers to keep the record straight”
Interestingly the author concludes with a bizarre statement which tries to assert the Herald’s independence, despite earlier stating that “we back Zanu-PF”, and threaten some people at the same time:
“We are not in the business of sparring with politicians, our province are news values. We are a watchdog not a lapdog, and where need be teeth come out.”
The Herald is not the most trustworthy or useful of papers- it has reported the ridiculous diesel hoax on government ministers and the equally ridiculous flying witches story of a few weeks ago- but it is constantly “improving” itself. In addition to being a mouthpiece of Zanu Pf and the making the occasional absurd claims of imperialist “strategies” it has taken things a bit further.
Our dear Herald, it seems, has been sucked into Zanu-PF internal fights.