Gerry Jackson, Station Manager of SW Radio Africa*, writes concerning today’s Al Jazeera report on the ‘million man march’ in Harare, in support of Robert Mugabe:
“Their correspondent, Supa Mandiwanzira, is a known supporter of the ruling party and also provides reports to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation.
“He does not mention that thousands of people were bussed into the capital from the rural areas either by force or - in the case of those who received farm equipment from the Reserve Bank - were told to join the march or lose this equipment. Throughout Friday morning soldiers and police went around high density residential areas, forcing people out of their homes to march. Those who refused were beaten.
“Our correspondent was badly beaten and had his camera taken by police when he tried to photograph the marchers (the authorities do not know that he works for us).
“We are concerned about the accuracy of the reports on Zimbabwe that are emanating from Al Jazeera, particularly as they are the ‘only international news network allowed to report from Zimbabwe.’”
* SW Radio Africa is an independent station run by and for Zimbabweans. It broadcasts on shortwave to Southern Africa, and worldwide on the Internet. It is not affiliated to any political party.