Dr Tafataona Mahoso has been appointed the CEO of Zimbabwe's new Media Commission, despite having vied for the Chairmanship of the same body, losing out to Godfrey Majonga.
is known as the "Media Hangman" because he
ran the previous Media and Information Commission
which presided over teh closure of several newspapers in Zimbabwe
as well as the banning of several journalists from practising their craft.
, 29 May 2010
If proof was needed that Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC-T
are just passengers in the so-called Inclusive Government of Zimbabwe
, then it was provided this last week by the appointment of Dr Tafataona Mahoso
as the Chief Executive Officer of the new Zimbabwe Media Commission
, which was supposed to usher in a new era of media plurality and democracy in Zimbabwe.
is accused by his
detractors of being a "media hangman"in his
previous incarnation as Chairman of the now defunct Media and Information Commission (MIC), which presided over the closure of such publications as The Daily News (whose offices were at one time reduced to rubble by a bomb explosion), The Tribune and others.
, especially, is known to be vitriolic in its opposition to Dr Mahoso's
presence anywhere near anything to do with the media.
, taking his
cue from the MDC-T opposition, has come out frequently in support of the "hangman"and Mahoso
is a frequent visitor to State House. (In fact, on one occasion, he
was mugged and robbed as he
way from State House on his
bicycle and Mugabe
promptly gave him a driver and car to ensure this never happened again).
Nelson Chamisa, the largely incompetent Minister of Information Technology in the Inclusive Government and Spokesman for the MDC-T, is quoted as saying that Mahoso is not even qualified to run a burial society."
Questions have also been asked (mostly by the ignorant) regarding how Mahoso can be appointed CEO of the ZMC when he is also the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Authority.
The answer is that Mahoso's chairmanship at the Broadcasting Authority is non-executive.
was put there, obviously to make sure that no new radio stations and no new television stations come out of the woodwork to haunt ZANU PF.
is actually much more concerned about radio stations and TV stations that he
is about the print media.
This is why, to this very day, ZANU PF insists that the existence of radio stations broadcasting from outside Zimbabwe
is an outstanding issue under the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Still, the fact remains that Mahoso
is now back at the "gallows"(if you are to follow the analogy of his
being a hangman).
There is nothing the Prime Minister can do about this.
There is nothing the MDCs can do about this.
It just goes to show yet again where true power lies in this so-called Inclusive Government.
Despite the outcry over the appointment of Mahoso
as CEO of the new Media Commission, the man is unlikely to go anywhere.
The new people running Commission have already said that people should shut up about Mahoso's appointment because it was "a purely administrative role".
They insist that he
will not be deciding who gets a licence and who doesn't.
With AIPPA and POSA still active and even the MDC-T making no moves to have these laws repealed (not even making noise about them anymore), the basis upon which Mahoso acted in his past life as Chairman of the MIC is still in place.
used to argue that the media should not look to him because he
was simply enforcing laws that were on the books.
The media, he
insisted, should instead look to parliament and politicians to see that they repealed the laws, which would have made the MIC redundant.
What it means, therefore, is that there is the very real possibility that the media landscape in Zimbabwe
will only change temporarily.
decide to enforce AIPPA and POSA, then we would all be back to square one.