Now The Zimbabwe Times Blames The Victim For The Crime Committed Against Him!

What a racket Geoff Nyarota's staff are causing in their own house as a result of their news site being caught plagiarising one of my posts from this blog. As most of you who are regular readers will know, that article was taken word for word. Now they seek to blame me!!!!

The paranoia is convoluted. Apparently, I am supposed to be the one who sent it in under a pseudonym in order to fix Nyarota. I am not sure why or for what exactly I would want to fix him. But guilty minds are paranoid minds. So, basically running away from their own shadows, they are desperately trying to cover up their plagiarism by accusing the victim of inviting the crime visited upon him!

I have not bothered to read a critique of the article written today by someone on the staff of The Zimbabwe Times, basically rubbishing the article. I just glanced at the header, which says my article is "much ado about nothing."

It just occurs to me that when the article was sent in to them by one John Huruva, they thought it good enough to publish, but now that they have been exposed, it is suddenly not good enough?

This article had been picked up by Zimbabwe Situation a full day before Zimbabwe Times plagiarised it. Barbra and the excellent people at Zimbabwe Situation receive roughly around 120 times more readers than the Zimbabwe Times. Check the rankings and you will see just what a non-site the Zimbabwe Times is when compared to Zimbabwe Situation. So if it was readers we were looking for, the Zimbabwe Times would have been last place where we would have gone looking. The Zimbabwe Situation syndication of the article achieved that spectacularly 24 hours before the people at Zimbabwe Times did their nefarious deed. Everyone is actually feeling shame on behalf of the Zimbabwe Times, except themselves.

Luckily, a glance at the comments on the story by one of their staff which I refer to above, comments by their own readers, shows that their readers are more mature and level-headed than the people employed by The Zimbabwe Times to blame the victim for the crime committed against him. They rip into the author of that attack in comment after comment, accusing HIM of much ado about nothing.

I once wrote in the Financial Gazette that I am only interested in debating issues. In that opinion piece (I have been writing opinion and analysis since the 1990s), I said, and I repeat here for the benefit of those who think they can scare me with personal attacks and innuendo: "Throw any mud at me, call me any names you like. I can take it."

I don't do personalities. I do substance. A post on this blog appeared under another name on Geoff's site. I was angry, especially because I respect Geoff so much and, considering that the article had appeared 24 hours before on the (officially) most popular and most visited news website in Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Situation, it is implausible to say that his staff had not seen it before. Perhaps they are that ill-informed, in which case they should not be calling themselves journalists. This (Zimbabawe Situation) is the Number 1 site on Zimbabwe in the world. If they had not seen it there when it was published, then, yes, Geoff needs a better crop of news researchers reporters. Unless of course, Zimbabwe Situation is also now a site owned by the CIO, since anyone who does not work at Zimbabwe Times is CIO, as seems to be their reasoning.

Since it is now being discussed so minutely, let me ask a couple of questions. I was going to let the matter rest, but now I will ask the questions that make me doubtful that this was a genuine mistake on the part of Nyarota, especially considering the way in which they now seek to blame the victim for the crime committed against him.

We all know what Geoff Nyarota, the editor of that news website, did during the 1980s, exposing the Willowgate scandal in Mugabe's government. He is a seasoned investigative journalist. He knows what you do when you get an investigative piece. You verify. You ask your reporter, or the stringer putting in the article for consideration to explain to you the circumstances under which their investigation has been conducted. Professionally, that reporter is supposed to reveal his source to the editor, who will then stand by him through ALL repercussions that may follow.


1. Why did Nyarota not ask this John Huruva who his source was? Why did he not ask this person to at least just give the rank or profession of the person who had given Huruva this inside information? This is elementary journalism. The allegations in that article are too explosive to be taken at face value. Nyarota should have made an attempt to at least find out if the source claimed by Huruva could plausibly have access to such information. Could it be that this was not done because Nyarota knew full well who the author of that article was and what sort of access he has to people who can possibly have inside information, therefore there was no need to double check?

2. After it had been exposed that this article was plagiarised, what steps did Nyarota take to identify this Huruva? We have been told of none. Geoff is living in a first world country, where he can easily identify the IP address of this John Huruva whom he claims to have communicated with via a two-sentence email (that was the extent of his verification?). It would be easy to get that IP address and see what company it belongs to and then from there trace what connections that company has to whom.

3. We have not heard anything of this John Huruva since. Instead of pursuing John Huruva, The Zimbabwe Times seems especially keen to shift attention from itself and its actions around this plagiarisation and on to me, the victim. They seem too quick to want to attack me personally for their own sin, to take the attention away from their action. Why? There is innuendo, there are attacks on the article itself (although it was good enough before this for them to want to publish it). Yet they do not seem to be making any efforts to identify this Huruva. I hope they do, because I would love to know him and ask about misrepresenting my article to Geoff, if indeed that is the case.

4.Could it be that the Zimbabwe Times is making no effort to identify John Huruva because they knows exactly who this "person" is?
There is evn a conspiracy theory afoot, likening this to the Basildon Peta issue. The reasoing behind this conspiracy theory is childish. Unlike in the Peta issue, I take full responsibility for what is in that article. I, not the Zim Times, first published it and if any consequences are to come from it they will befall me, not the plagiariser.

No writer wants to be plagiarised and I exposed that fact on this blog so that readers could see what had happened. It is unethical, it is base, uncouth and unprofessional. Several readers left messages throughout the day with the Zimbabwe Times and saw the messages being ignored, ALL DAY, the story staying up under that fictitious Huruva name. Only when it became apparent that, as Nyarota put it, "SOME sections of the Zimbabwe Internet community are agog with accusations that The Zimbabwe Times plagiarized an article which was posted on the website late on Wednesday night", did the website act to retreat.
One of Mugabe's greatest successes as dictator of Zimbabwe has been to make Zimbabweans the most suspicious people on earth, basically a people afraid of their own shadows. It is a common trait in Stalinist, personality-cult regimes like those of Hitler (to which Mugabe's rule also bears frightening similarities), Stalin and Fidel Castro.

Insinuations that I am CIO (I have to laugh that one out of the park with the contempt it deserves), do not erase the fact that The Zimbabwe Times plagiarised my article. Trying to obfuscate matters by insinuating that I sent in the article myself under the name of John Huruva is being laughed at by everyone who reads that accusation, especially in light of the fact that the article had already been published by the Number 1 website in Zimbabwe 24 hours before the Zimbabwe Times tried to pass it off as an article by one of their own staff, a man called John Huruva!

I END WITH THE WORDS I QUOTED ABOVE: THROW ANY MUD YOU LIKE, CALL ME ANY NAMES YOU MAY. I CAN TAKE IT. The facts remain and the onus is on the plagiariser to prove to me and the world that they did not do this deliberately. It is not my website that plagiarised. It is not my blog that acted unprofessionally.

And there the matter rests.


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