Monday, March 2, 2009

"Null and Void"

On Wednesday, President Mugabe used the state-owned and operated newspaper The Herald to post a list of senior civil servants he had picked. The problem? He did not consult Prime Minister Tsvangirai, which made this his first misdoing on the agreement to share power the two men had made some months ago.

Tsvangirai declared in an email, "The announcement of permanent secretaries has no force of law and is therefore null and void."

The Herald ran a list of senior civil servant appointees selected by Muagbe without any other kind of confirmation. This is nothing new in a country where the major newspapers are owned by the government. The New York Times ran an article about this calling the state media "his mouthpiece," a statement not far from the truth.

In reading (or trying to read, because most of the time, the websites do not work) the newspapers from Zimbabwe, I've noticed many miscongruencies. The number of cholera cases as reported by The Herald and by other major news and medical organizations (The New York Times, Doctors Without Borders) are so significantly different it seems a bit fishy. When Mugabe's wife was arrested in Hong Kong, no word was mentioned of it in the press in the country.

I also find it weird the websites do not have a comprehensive archive of the stories. What you read on the website today, you will not be able to easily find on the website tomorrow. The websites also tend to be down a lot. When you visit them, you have the option of "click here if you're in Zimbabwe" or "click here if you're outside of Zimbabwe." If you click the outside option, the html coding tends to be messed up to the point where the text of the story is so skewed on the page, you can't read the story. The in Zimbabwe option tends to work out okay though.


  1. Do you mean to say he did NOT consult with the prime minister?

  2. Yeah...That's what I meant. I guess that changes the entire meaning of the post.