Home » Governance » The Sunday Mail Misfired

Headline writers at The Sunday Mail no doubt gave themselves a pat on the back after the publication of Sunday’s issue. The Government, we were told, was in the process of a “major climb-down” regarding the indigenisation policy while Dr Gideon Gono was cited as a major victor in a policy debate he actually has had no input in.

It would be interesting to know how many additional newspapers the deliberately sensationalist headline added to sales.

The problem is that there is in fact no such “climb-down” specifically because the interview on which the headline was purportedly based states quite clearly that Government is in fact digging in and has actually “climbed-up” in requiring that Zimbabweans will in fact own 100 percent of their resources under the proposed Production Sharing Model.

Gloating foreigners, immediately seized upon this headlining oversight, if not deliberate mischief. Most vocal in that crowd were white South Africans (understandably fearful for their own cake) who took to social media to celebrate the so-called climb-down.

The gloating reached hysterical levels and came closer to home with inane headlines from the usual suspects at the Daily News yesterday morning.

“Thank you Mr President,” cried a celebratory headline in the offending copy.

The excitable editor of that paper then went on to explain that the newspaper had been proven right in its relentless criticism of indigenisation.

The paper was also at pains to laud the former central bank chief Dr Gono who it quoted extensively as saying (disingenuously I suspect) “don’t thank me” for the apparent possible policy shift by Government. This theme was carried online where many fans of the central bank chief pointed to the shift as a victory for his brand of moderate politics.

The Sunday Mail and the shallow readers taken in by its clever copy-shifting tactics miss one essential point: Gono never at any time aocated the Production Sharing Model. The record will show that he was championing a cheap sort of empowerment where Zimbabweans would be reduced to supplying implements to extractive companies while they carried gold and platinum out of the country.

His “Supply Chain Strategy”, which is freely available to anyone with access to the Internet, was unequivocal in its opposition to equity aspirations instead suggesting that it was better to supply mops, buckets and toilet paper to mining companies as a means to empower our people. He was rightly described as a “house-nigger” over the proposals.

Against this background, it is difficult to see how he can be said to be a victor when his proposed model is not mentioned anywhere in the suggested amendments to the indigenisation policy.

Some will say that Dr Gono deserves credit because he urged moderation and thus should be credited if there is any such movement towards moderation. It’s a weak line of argument. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa has also urged moderation as did Cdes Mzembi,

Chidhakwa and even President Mugabe himself when he persuasively argued that there was no merit for demanding 51 percent in non-resource sectors of the economy.

Why is a movement towards such moderation a victory for Gono in particular? It would have been outrageous to claim the planned amendments were a victory for Mzembi but it is clear that our friends at The Sunday Mail really wanted to sell lots of newspapers and decided to squeeze out a desperately contrived headline much to the delight of certain individuals with political ambitions.

Anyone who takes time to actually read through the extensive interview carried by the same newspaper will realise that there is (1) in fact no climb-down but in fact this is a major climb-up for all resource nationalists and that (2) this is not a victory for Gono because he never at any time aocated the Production Sharing Model.

Source : The Herald