At a time when corruption is soaring high in the motherland, journalism and social media always give us a light at the end of the tunnel.
A light that citizens must embrace, act upon, and call for accountability from the public servants who serve Zimbabwe.
There is less written text on the origins of the phrase, “speaking truth to power” but most attribute it’s coining to the Quakers history in the 18th Century, a phrase that was later popularized by African- American civil rights leader Bayard Rustin.
It resembles a non-violent confrontation and the demand for a moral response to propaganda from those that hold power.
If the media was to wear their mask, as much as everyone who is out here scared to their spines about pandemics such as Covid-19 or the daylight corruption then who will speak the truth to power?
The month of June has been an interesting month headlined by polished investigative journalism from Elias Mambo and Hopewell Chon’ono on the Covidgate scandal which has mounted pressure on President Mnangagwa’s Administration.
After a series of revelation that Drax International, a company that was awarded US$60 million contracts to supply medical equipment to NatPharm, had not gone for tender, inflated prices and are linked to powerful politicians the government terminated all contracts.
Following this, buckling to pressure from the media and anti-corruption activists, Drax’s Zimbabwean representative Delish Nguwaya was charged with fraud and also followed the arrest of Minister of Health, Obadiah Moyo on charges related to the same case.
However, the Health Minister was granted a ZWL$ 50 000 bail by the local courts which he paid in cash. The irony!
Lies have short legs
Caught amid the social media storm around corruption the popular Draxgate, Permanent Secretary in the Mutsvangwa led Ministry of Information, Nick Mangwana lives to regret his failure to conduct due diligence.
After being question why The President had claimed that the government had received a US$60 million facility as a donation from Drax when rather the government had awarded two contracts worth US$60 million from Zimbabwe, Nick Mangwana said the company mislead the Head of State and claimed that the clip presented as evidence was not played on Television for the same reasons.
“They lied to him. He sussed them out after. That’s why the clip was not played on TV,” he said.
Media Monitors, a research-based organization availed to Mangwana a ZBC TV clip of the article he said was not played on TV.
“The scam is much more intricate than I even imagined. I am informed that after the reporter shelved the story, the scammers (Drax) got to the cameraman Stan Marodza who managed to get the clip played three days later and then gave the original to (Delish) Nguwaya for leveraging officials,” the Permanent Secretary responded.
This shocking revelation, points to the allegation that Drax managed to capture the state television too as part of the scam?
However, the most worrying thing is there is always a line of production in the newsroom.
It is entirely castles in the air, to imagine that a cameraman managed to smuggle an article into the news bulleting, worse making it the lead story of the day.
The actual position remains to be seen, but a probe should also be made into such serious allegations on the 4th estate.
Journalism and social media are about giving a voice to the voiceless.
The media could have kindly played along and continue lurking in the shadows but the truth is more important.
As Hrushka MacPherson puts to it, “Our sweaters are all about wearing your politics and using your voice to speak truth to power.”
Next “gate” please!