The Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) has accused State media of compromising journalistic standards and fanning hate speech against Vice President Joice Mujuru in its handling of the ongoing Zanu PF factional fights.
The media watchdog says news outlets such as The Herald and the Sunday Mail newspapers are openly biased against Mujuru, while embedding with the party camp allegedly led by Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Privately-owned newspapers, including The Daily News and NewsDay have largely handled the Zanu PF squabbles in a professional manner, according Mujuru the right of reply, the watchdog said.
“We are very concerned about the bias; the failure to adhere to standards and simple ethics that govern journalism,” MMPZ official Edson Madondo told VOA.
“Newspapers like The Herald, Sunday Mail, ZBC and all media outlets that are owned by the government have reduced themselves to a mouthpiece of a faction in Zanu PF.”
Madondo said the never-ending diatribes and insults against Mrs. Mujuru amounted to hate speech.
But The Herald editor Caesar Zvai dismissed the accusations, saying his newspaper was impartial.
“The VP has never been denied the right of reply in this paper," he said.
"On Monday, she released a lengthy statement that she supplied exclusively to The Daily News and NewsDay. She didn’t bring it to the Herald.
“What I can tell you about the MMPZ is that I dismiss whatever it says with the contempt that it deserves. It is basically being used as a political instrument," Zvai added.