Home » General » Media, Politicians Must Be Responsible [editorial]

The media are the watch dog in society and should never at any given time allow themselves to become lapdogs of politicians, business or Government officials.These are basics that any media practitioner understands and salutes.

However, this understanding seems to be restricted to the media, which perhaps is somewhat understandable because we cannot expect non-media people to fully understand how the sector operates.

Even then, there are some extents of lack of understanding that are shocking, to say the very least.

When national politicians expect the media to blindly pander to their selfish whims then we have a serious problem.

The media have been on a crusade to expose graft in public institutions, underhand dealings by prominent individuals, and poor corporate governance and judgement sense by officials.

Instead of supporting this quest for transparency, some politicians want the media muzzled.

Our politicians and other prominent people out there should be mindful of the fact that we are in the printing and publishing and not public relations business.

The media have a duty to dissect issues, proffer solutions and give constructive criticism, all in pursuit of the national interest.

Anyone who conducts him or herself in a manner that infringes on the rights of ordinary Zimbabweans or in any way threatens the national interest should expect to be named and shamed.

As Professor Jonathan Moyo has said, such people should carry their crosses.

In the same vein, anyone who attempts to protect such malcontents should also be prepared to face the wrath of the public’s condemnation.

It is time people in public office appreciate that the nation demands a high level of accountability and integrity, and those who think they are in office for unjust self-enrichment should know it is only a matter of time before their misdeeds are laid bare for the nation’s judgement.

On Tuesday, legislator and zanu-pf Mashonaland West provincial chairman Cde Temba Mliswa claimed the media exposeacutes on his dealings with businessman Mr Conrad “Billy” Rautenbach were politically motivated.

It is such posturing that has hurt zanu-pf’s image in the eyes of many people, who believe the party is riddled with corruption and influence peddling.

Worse still, it is such cover-ups of potentially unethical and prejudicial conduct that allows people to loot millions of dollars that should be going towards national development.

We cannot have people hiding behind political party affiliation whenever the public starts questioning their conduct and integrity.

zanu-pf, as a revolutionary and governing party, cannot afford this.

Zimbabwe cannot afford it.

At the same time, the media should uphold professional ethics and standards and resist the temptation to abuse their power to become cannons that maliciously attack innocent Zimbabweans without any evidence to substantiate their claims.

Inasmuch as we cherish media freedom, it must be repeated often that with great power comes great responsibility.

This is a lesson that both the media and politicians must appreciate as they go about their respective duties.

Source : The Herald