WE RECKON that even Donald Trump — the fibs-addicted, master of conspiracies and troubled outgoing leader of the United States of America — would marvel at the level of lying that has followed the issuance of six television licences by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) last week.
For example, a few fantastical stories carried on online platforms with a high aversion for facts — mostly run by scorned, former State media commissars who worked for many years in the zealous service of the ruling Zanu PF — claimed, in a bid to discredit the licensing process, that the Daily News “now has the Minister of State for Harare Oliver Chidawu among its shareholders”.
This is embarrassing, and certainly, egregiously false.
And here is the thing: The disinformation hyenas who peddle these malicious fabrications know it. But they are beyond the pale and, frankly, don’t care.
In this regard, we pity the undiscerning Zimbabweans who are regularly made to drink these poisonous concoctions that are packaged as news — which suits a few misguided politicians whose narrow, short-term agendas are being served well by this drivel.
The process to award the TV licences was never going to be easy after authorities dithered unnecessarily for decades to make this a reality.
But they have done so now. And the entire process, to the credit of BAZ, was open and refreshingly transparent — a fact that the notorious band of anarchists who would rather burn the whole country down than admit that the authorities did well on this occasion, will simply never admit to.
And here is the other thing: Apart from the pitiable rantings of a few sore losers, many of those who are criticising BAZ and the government on this did not even have the heart to lodge applications for the licences.
But still, they moan — in typical Zimbabwean style.
On this point too, it has been surprising to note that some media representative organisations such as the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) have been rather injudicious in their responses to the issuance of the six commercial broadcasting licences.
While they are entitled to their opinions on this, and the other licensing processes before that, they are not entitled to only their favourites getting licences — which is the impression that they have always given over the years.
Indeed, we at the Daily News may one day be compelled to take these partisan industry bodies and their funders head on, as we did with one of them in the past, should they continue with their ways. While they potentially have a crucial role to play in our sector, this must be premised on fairness and prudency.
We have bemoaned before the toxic polarisation in the country and the fact that everything in Zimbabwe is now given a political label, and looked at from a fatal “us” versus “them” perspective — something that is reflected in the just concluded TV licensing process.
As one would expect in this mayhem, the chaos mongers who make a good living from this anarchy have not spared independent media such as the Daily News.
Some of the attacks on us have been nothing short of being comical, while others have been so Martian that they have backfired spectacularly on the would-be assassins.
While today it’s Chidawu’s name being abused to further certain political agendas, before it was the likes of former Vice President Joice Mujuru, President Emmerson Mnangagwa and even Grace Mugabe — of all people — who were supposedly shareholders in our influential newspaper.
It all boggles the mind.
A stunning 10 years since our unlikely relaunch, having been shut down by the late Robert Mugabe’s government and his minions in September 2003, for telling it like it is, it really is time that the disinformation hyenas finally make up their minds as to which politicians they would like to be equity holders in our newspaper, in their wishful thinking.
In the meantime, and despite the unhealthy obsession among some people with regards to the Daily News — many of whom engage in fruitless and detailed textual and discourse analysis of our stories every day — the commercial performance of the newspaper has never been better than it is today.
This success has been underpinned by a winning strategy premised on offering unique, riveting and balanced content — which is what differentiates us from other media houses.
Perhaps our detractors know this, which is why they are ratcheting up anew their futile efforts to derail us.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Zimbabweans understand this crass game and also appreciate the cultured watchdog role that we continue to play in our society — as evidenced by the hundreds of thousands of our readers who enthusiastically follow us on all our platforms every day of the week.
To this end, and notwithstanding the malice of some, the Daily News will continue to serve the interests of all Zimbabweans — doing so without any fear or favour. Facts and history are on our side on this.