PRESIDENT EMMERSON Mnangagwa’s close security details Thursday issued a chilling warning to the media that the “sword is mightier than the pen” before barring journalists from using mobile phones to take videos or pictures of the country’s leader.
The move is a reaction to last week’s leak of a video of Mnangagwa, who was captured appearing drunk at a fundraising dinner at State House.
A state security detail addressing the media Thursday outside the Parliament Building said a “rogue and errant” journalist was responsible for capturing and leaking the video.
Mnangagwa was in Parliament Thursday for the presentation of the 2022 national budget by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube.
The state security agent, who only identified himself as Raymond, then ordered the journalists present to be clear of their boundaries.
“We know that there are rules and regulations wherever we go. Even when dealing with the president, there are certain pictures that you are not supposed to capture, and some you are allowed to” Raymond said.
“They say the pen is mightier than the sword, but I still believe the sword is mightier, and here we have our swords and if we decide to unleash them, things may not end well for you.”
Soon after the arrival of Mnangagwa at the Parliament Building, one journalist who had captured the president disembarking from his ZIM 1 vehicle, was pulled from the media crew gathered and ordered to delete all images he had captured.
However, government spokespersons have dismissed the leak of Mnangagwa’s video, which has since gone viral, saying he was not drunk but was tired following a busy day of work.
According to presidential spokesperson George Charamba, Mnangagwa only takes alcohol during the first six months of the year, a routine he adopted in 1978 during the liberation struggle for Zimbabwe’s independence.