Terrence Mukupe should be fired from his position as Deputy Minister of Finance. But not for saying that the Military will never allow Chamisa to rule.

Because he did not say that.

Have any of the people up in arms against what Terrence said actually listened to his speech.

There is a video. It is attached to this post.

The truth of the matter is that what I saw in the Newsday headline "Army Won't Let Chamisa Rule: Minister", is not what I heard on the video.

More importantly for anyone who has the interests of the country at heart, is understanding why Newsday would frame this speech in the false manner that they have,

They support Chamisa, they have made no secret of that. Which is fine and not a bad thing at all. But this report is designed deliberately and directly to undermine the results of the election should they go against him. This is a report purely framed to give credence to an unfree and unfair election before even official campaigning has started.

The Newsday report, reader, is not for you the Zimbabwean voter. It is a report for the consumption of international opinion and, under Mugabe or Jonathan Moyo, would have resulted in lawsuits from the Deputy Minister or arrest for false reporting. 

Which is what the Newsday is trying to provoke. Luckily, it would appear the new administration's restraint will ride this sensationalism out.

The misleading headline, on the front page, is a clarion call to election observers to prejudge the election as not free and fair before it has started.

I'd go so far as to say that the report is an attempt by the Newsday to rig the election in favour of Nelson Chamisa and his Alliance.

The Deputy Minister apparently has a rather colourful history. There is talk of him avoiding paying fuel import duties by claiming his product was in transit, surreptitiously offloading it in Chitungwiza and replacing it with water and being caught.

Then there is the well-reported matter of him beating the daylights out of a civil servant in the Finance Ministry for not giving him enough money to pay for the type of hotel accommodation he preferred in South Africa.

I happen to believe that, for that assault incident, the president should have relieved him of his duties, fired him. He has not disputed this story, which was reported on publicly.

So, those are his sins.

But on this particular issue, after listening to the video, Newsday definitely misreported the story, especially in the headline, which is what Zimbabweans react to.

Here's what Mukupe said, which informed that sensationalised and wrong headline:

"Kuti nditi shuwa, uti  Mawuto akanotora nyika, kunobvuta nyika kuna vaMugabe kuti vagotambidza chana chiri kutaura zvema spaghetti road..."

"Can we honestly say that the military wrestled the country from Mr Mugabe so that they can hand it over to a little boy who is talking about spaghetti roads...."

The true translation of what Mukupe said in English would be that he told his audience the military surely did not mount Operation restore legacy so that the country can be handed over to an immature young man who speaks about spaghetti roads and impregnating women.

The debate about the misquoting of Chamisa about his "I can impregnate any woman" statement has been exhausted and I think everyone accepts that this is not what he said.

So, on that Mukupe was simply doing what all politicians across the world do, twist their opponents' poorly communicated words to suit their messages and agendas.

His opinion about Chamisa being immature and not ready to rule - again an opinion and almost certainly a talking point that the ruling party would support its candidates campaigning on.

He did say in that speech, which was his man point, that the country needed a steady hand.

So, basically, if you listen to the speech, you will realise that his entire speech was about Chamisa being immature and not ready. It was, in effect, a speech that said, the military did not go to all that trouble so that we vote in an immature, inexperienced young man to the presidency. That is his opinion and certainly there would be nothing amiss in the ruling party supporting such an opinion.

Bottomline: Mukupe did not say that the military will never allow Chamisa to rule. That was a figment of the imaginations of the headline writers at Newsday. That newspaper did what is no different to what The Herald did: twist the words of the candidate or supporter of the candidate they do not support in order to paint him in a bad light.

In both instances, the approach was unfair.

Here's the video, judge for yourself.


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