Ministers are fair game

By Ndafadza Madanha 

LAST week Local government, Public works and National housing minister Saviour Kasukuwere made headlines for the wrong reasons when he launched a diatribe against the state media for carrying negative stories about him.

In his moment of madness aptly captured on video and distributed on social media, Kasukuwere launched a tirade against specific characters from the state media using unprintable words not worth publishing but suffice to say, they are not expected from a supposedly “Honorable” figure.

Kasukuwere like any citizen is entailed to express displeasure when he feels his integrity and persona has been violated.

However, that right does not extend and entail him to behave as he did last week and it’s about time Kasukuwere and his fellow cabinet colleagues are reminded that the media is not there to do their bidding and pamper them like deities.

The media has a watchdog role to carry over the three arms of state and no arm should expect the media to abrogate that responsibility at the altar of expediency.

Politicians in the mold of Kasukuwere who make up the executive and legislature are public individuals whose every move will be subject to scrutiny and should not expect any favors from the “fourth estate” merely on the grounds that they hold high sounding titles.

There is a growing propensity among ministers to believe that they are little kings and Queens who should not receive any criticism from the media in particular the state media.

When criticized and exposed as happened to Kasukuwere they unleash a volley of threats rather than respond with substance to issues raised.

His behavior is no different from that of Prof Jonathan Moyo who resorted to pursuing frivolous lawsuits against state media when it wrote on his alleged abuse of Zimdef funds.

The Professor was at it again when the state media exposed him as a beneficiary of command agriculture program which he has been at the fore front of criticizing on social media.

The list is endless of executive members who believe they are above criticism but this duo of Kasukuwere and Moyo is most culpable and is now so intoxicated with executive power they now believe they are beyond reproach.

However, the response both Kasukuwere and Moyo have received from the media should sober them up and serve as a stern reminder that the fourth estate will not falter an iota in discharging its constitutional mandate.

Ministers should know that section 61 and 62 of the constitution protects the right to access of information and freedom of expression and the media will hold them to account on behalf of the electorate and general populace.

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