THE Office of the President and Cabinet has challenged a privately-owned newspaper, NewsDay and a syndicate of online publications to provide evidence that link the President with Tarirai David Mnangagwa.
This comes as President Mnangagwa and First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa have been the target of a sustained media attack, which seeks, without any shred of evidence to link the First Family with gold cases, mining claims and also cases before the courts.
It also comes as some individuals are facing charges of name-dropping before the country’s courts after they tried to invoke names of the First Family to evade arrest.
Yesterday, NewsDay screamed with a headline that sensationally claimed that the President’s son is involved in a gold mine grab, prompting the Office of the President and Cabinet to demand a retraction.
“The Office of the President and Cabinet continues to view with consternation what clearly is a sustained media campaign by NewsDay and other syndicated online news outlets against His Excellency the President, Cde ED Mnangagwa, the First Lady, Amai Auxillia Mnangagwa, and children of the First Family as involved or associated with alleged crimes and conflicts in the mining sector.
“The latest in a series of such slurs and innuendos was a front page story (Thursday, 12th November, 2020) issue of NewsDay which badly creates the impression Tarirai David Mnangagwa is the President’s biological son.
“His Excellency would be most grateful if NewsDay can provide him and the nation with evidence of a filial relationship between him and Tarirai David Mnangagwa, in order to make good claims in their story.
“In the absence of such evidence, the Office of the President and Cabinet demands an immediate retraction of the published damaging falsehood, as well as an unconditional apology to the President, the First Lady and the First Family,’’ said the Deputy Chief Secretary (Presidential Communications), Mr George Charamba in a statement last night.
Mr Charamba added: “The Office further urges the media to refrain from publishing such malicious claims which have now become more of a norm, quite contrary to the standards and dictates of professional journalism.”
Recently investigations into the gold smuggling case involving Henrietta Rushwaya, who was arrested while trying to leave the country revealed that a former State security agent lied to police officers that the gold belonged to First Lady Mnangagwa in order to obstruct or defeat the course of justice.
And such cases of name-dropping especially those of members of the First Family have been on the rise with Government warning the public against such conduct.
The ruling party Zanu PF has also axed some officials for name-dropping, however, choosing to be blind to journalism tenets some publications have been relying on falsehoods just to slur the First Family.