Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai pushed back Friday against charges by a state radio broadcaster that he bribed editors from private newspapers to run stories portraying him in a positive light while attacking ZANU-PF officials.
A heavily editorialized report carried by state radio and television said Tsvangirai had received money from Western governments to launch a campaign in the private press to spruce his image following damaging reports about his failed engagement and allegations that he was a womanizer.
In an unrestrained follow-up report late Friday, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation quoted a former MDC legislator-turned ZANU-PF proxy, Gabriel Chaibva, naming the three editors he said benefited from Tsvangirai’s alleged bribery scheme.
The ZANU-PF-leaning Herald newspaper ran a similar report though lacking hard facts and relied heavily on the earlier radio reports.
The state broadcaster alleged that Tsvangirai spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka and Minister of State Jameson Timba, attached to the prime minister's office, were “key point-men in the whole saga.”
Tamborinyoka dismissed the corruption charges against Tsvangirai telling VOA reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the reports were "rubbish, arrant nonsense."
Daily News Editor Stanley Gama, named as one of the alleged recipients of money from Tsvangirai’s office, described the allegations as false and libelous.