Skip to content or view mobile version

Home | Mobile | Editorial | Mission | Privacy | About | Contact | Help | Security | Support

A network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues.

Zimbabwe: Mainstream Media Demonizes Mugabe

brian | 28.03.2007 07:33 | Social Struggles

From the onset let me say that given the sources of information most people are basing there opinions on, I am not surprised by nor am I opposed to people criticizing President Robert Mugabe or anyone else for that matter. It seems that, for the most part, many of Mugabe's critics resist any other views than the sordid ones they are presented with and that is what they share. I receive hate-filled emails from them and from the tone of the emails most are from a White point of view.

Zimbabwe: Mainstream Media Demonizes Mugabe
Western Support Damns Opposition
By Ayinde
Posted: March 25, 2007
Updated: March 27, 2007

This is a response to Raffique Shah's article "No place for monster Mugabe" that was published in the Trinidad Express on March 25, 2007 and also reproduced on Raffique's website at

From the onset let me say that given the sources of information most people are basing there opinions on, I am not surprised by nor am I opposed to people criticizing President Robert Mugabe or anyone else for that matter. It seems that, for the most part, many of Mugabe's critics resist any other views than the sordid ones they are presented with and that is what they share. I receive hate-filled emails from them and from the tone of the emails most are from a White point of view.

I am acutely aware that the West's interest in condemning and demonizing President Mugabe is motivated by their racist desire to ensure that the example Zimbabwe set by reclaiming land is not followed by other African nations and also to punish Zimbabwe for moving away from the IMF and World Bank policies.

The US has demonstrated this kind of conduct throughout its history in dealing with leaders who do not subscribe to their political agendas. They first fear that people could be inspired by a leader who challenges the status quo, and then they engage in a demonizing campaign in order to discredit that leader. They apply sanctions to the country and do all in their power to ruin the economy of that country. Then they blame the leader for destroying their own economy and hurting the people.

The most prominent earlier history of this conduct is with regards to Haiti. Current US actions towards Zimbabwe and president Robert Mugabe parallels with how the US president, Thomas Jefferson dealt with the Haitian Revolution and its leader, Toussaint L'Ouverture. Douglas Egerton, Professor of History at Le Moyne College in the discourse "Douglas Egerton on the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint L'Ouverture, and Jefferson" had this to say:

[Thomas] Jefferson was terrified of what was happening in Saint Domingue. He referred to Toussaint's army as cannibals. His fear was that black Americans, like Gabriel, would be inspired by what they saw taking place just off the shore of America. And he spent virtually his entire career trying to shut down any contact, and therefore any movement of information, between the American mainland and the Caribbean island.

He called upon Congress to abolish trade between the United States and what after 1804 was the independent country of Haiti. He argued that France believed it still owned the island. In short, he denied that Haitian revolutionaries had the same right to independence and autonomy that he claimed for American patriots. And consequently, in 1805 and finally in 1806, trade was formally shut down between the United States and Haiti, which decimated the already very weak Haitian economy. And of course, Jefferson then argued this was an example of what happens when Africans are allowed to govern themselves: economic devastation, caused in large part by his own economic policies.

They have repeated this same action with Haiti culminating in the ouster of its first democratically elected president, Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004. (See: Haiti Coup of 2004)

In Trinidad and Tobago, just like in many other countries, the critical African voice is not in the mainstream. The main sources of news and views on what takes place in Africa and other parts of the world come to Trinidad and Tobago via Western commercial media that takes their news from BBC, Reuters, and Associated Press.

As we know, once these main news feeds take a position on any issue, they bury opposing views as was the case during the 2002 attempted coup in Venezuela and the ouster of the Haitian President, Jean Bertrand Aristide from office in a February 2004 coup.

Today, it is no different concerning Zimbabwe. Added to the blackout of historical perspective on the issues in Zimbabwe and with the constant unsubstantiated yet demonizing reports of President Mugabe both in the local press and on the internet, it is no wonder most people actually believe what they read and hear from these Western sources.

Look at most of the pictures included in articles on Zimbabwe that are published by BBC, Reuters and Associated Press; we see a deliberate plan to use the worst possible images of President Mugabe in their efforts to advance their demonizing agenda.

How do people, especially those outside of Zimbabwe, know that President Mugabe ordered the police to beat harmless protesters at a prayer meeting? They get that information from the same mainstream media that demonizes President Mugabe at every turn.

Were the protesters really innocent people engaging in a prayer meeting? No. They used a Christianized front of praying to solicit sympathy from the Western audience as an attempt to appear pious in their efforts. In reality, the opposition has stated that they would try to remove the government by any means, with one opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, already stating that he would use violence: "What we would like to tell Mugabe is please go peacefully. If you don't want to go peacefully, we will remove you violently" (Police consider Tsvangirai arrest BBC 2002). The opposition groups were taking part in an illegal protest that the police attempted to stop. Several police officers were also beaten by protestors in that exercise. It was dishonest for the opposition to call that protest a prayer meeting. (See: Eyewitness: Harare's brutal clash BBC 2007)

As Stephen Gowans reminded us in his article "Mugabe Gets the Milosevic Treatment":

Last year Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of an opposing MDC faction, and eight of his colleagues, were thrown out of Zambia after attending a meeting arranged by the US ambassador to Zimbabwe, Christopher Dell, with representatives of Freedom House, a US ruling class organization that promotes regime change in countries that aren't sufficiently committed to free markets, free trade and free enterprise.

Morgan Tsvangirai and his supporters were not innocent victims of the Zimbabwe government's aggression as the western media is making them out to be.

As Stephen Gowans further reminded us:

The timing of the MDC rally was suspicious (it coincided with the opening of the latest session of the UN Human Rights Council.) Its depiction as a prayer meeting is flagrantly disingenuous. Those of an unprejudiced mind will recognize it for what it was: a political rally, held in already volatile conditions, whose outcome would either be insurrection or a crackdown that could be used to call for tougher sanctions, even intervention.

Critics have also called into question Mugabe's wisdom in spending what was reported in the western press (yet to be confirmed) of around 1.2 million US dollars on his birthday celebration. But if we follow the same western media reports of this apparent extravagant party, we would see that the affair was more of a political campaign rally and celebration done to make political statements and to motivate his supporters (See: Zimbabwe's Mugabe vows to combat "regime change"). There were thousands of people present at this birthday celebration/political campaign. Mugabe's critics would of course not want him to spend any money campaigning, which leaves them to campaign with vast sums of dollars supplied by organiztions such as Freedom House funded by George Soros, the US State Department, the US Congress's National Endowment for Democracy and USAID.

Most political parties in power spend vast sums of money on entertainment and political campaigns and the US is no exception. Summaries of spending for the US 2004 presidential and congressional elections were projected to cost nearly 4 billion US dollars according to published reports on the internet. People often say that the US is a rich country and can afford those extravagances. Tell that to the poor Black victims of Hurricane Katrina or the other poor people daily victimized as the result of these and similar "extravagances".

Of course, I object to the obscene amount of funds that usually go into entertainment and campaigning that could have been better spent on the people. So any condemnation I have of this exercise (if the figures in the mainstream press are to be believed) is in context with the general nature of such spending. Depending on which side of the fence one sits on, one will either praise or fault this exercise, but this is not the reason the West is against President Mugabe: they are simply using every means available to demonize Mugabe.

"The United States government says it will continue to support opposition parties in Zimbabwe, with or without Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe president's approval." (US talk tough on Zimbabwe)
Now that the US has insolently declared that it will continue to support opposition parties whose goal is to bring down President Robert Mugabe's government, all of those opposition groups the US is assisting will never be able to command the support of the majority in Zimbabwe.

The US government in their ignorance and arrogance could be feeling they can simply give money to opposition groups to stir up unrest in the country and suddenly the masses will be on board. The grassroots in Zimbabwe know quite well who is responsible for their hardship; they know the draconian policies of the World Bank and IMF, introduced by the West, have never served their interest. They also know whose interest these opposition parties serve.

US, British and other European support for political groups in Zimbabwe is to further their imperialistic agendas and this spells doom for those parties in Zimbabwe. Much the same is true in Somalia, Haiti and many other countries today. When the US throws their support behind groups in those countries, the US is guaranteeing that the only way those groups can come to power is through coups or other undemocratic means.

It would be hard to believe the US is naive about this. It seems to be part of their plan to end democracy in countries to facilitate US influence through boughten regime changes. The US government knew that Jean-Bertrand Aristide had popular support in Haiti and all their efforts to demonize him did not diminish that grassroots support. They had to organize a rebellion and coup in order to get him out of office. The same holds true for President Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

It means nothing to US and European governments that President Mugabe democratically won elections and commands the support of the majority.

The ruling ZANU-PF Party of President Robert Mugabe increased its share of parliamentary seats in elections held last week that were widely condemned in the West as rigged. ZANU–PF won 78 seats out of a possible 120, whereas the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won only 41 seats–17 fewer than it won in 2000.

Criticism in the Western media focused on the refusal of Zimbabwe's government to allow international observers from the European Union and the Commonwealth to monitor the poll. Observers from the African Union, South Africa and other southern African countries claimed that the elections were "free and credible," and voting apparently proceeded without much violence, unlike elections in 2000 and 2002. (See: Western powers dispute Mugabe's victory in Zimbabwe poll by Chris Talbot 2005)

The US and European governments want their neocolonial policies in place and they also want the White minority to maintain economic and land control in Zimbabwe.



Mbeki/Bond vs Gowans

28.03.2007 12:07

Patrick Bond's response to the Gowan's article can be seen here:

"It may not warrant further elaboration, but Moeletsi Mbeki has reduced last week's arguments by Mr Stephen Gowans of Ottawa to nonsense, and in the process shamed the good name CounterPunch (and indeed 286 other outlets between 22 and 26 March, according to a Google search of "Milosevic" "Mugabe" "Stephen Gowans" -- though Gowans has rewritten this thesis for several years now with Milo as his reference hero).

To illustrate the selective analysis that fatally flaws Gowans' work, he cites only Zimbabwe's state-owned press (the Sunday Mail and Herald) and three western newspapers. This is as farcical as trying to draw truth by balancing two extremists with blatant political agendas."

Vic Falls


Hide the following 5 comments

Zimbabwe is about white supremacy

28.03.2007 13:53

By John Iteshi
Last updated: 03/21/2007 14:25:51
RACISM, the worst kind of racism, is the only reason for the British media's obsession with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Nothing in Zimbabwe equates to one tenth of what happens in each of the 36 states of Nigeria. What the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai did, by trying to instigate mass uprising, cannot be attempted successfully by anybody in Nigeria today.

Just dreaming of it aloud will put you in jail in Nigeria, let alone starting it.

Before 2003 general elections key political opponents of the Federal government and various state governments were assassinated, but they made no real news to BBC and other western media.

Just few months ago in Ebonyi State, one of the poorest States, the governor Sam Egwu locked up two journalists for over three months for publishing articles which accused him of corruption in a local newspaper. What a pity, this fact did not make any news to the democracy-loving western media!

Currently, opposition forces at all levels are being openly suppressed and systematically excluded from contesting the next elections by the electoral body headed by a government stooge. The vice president of Nigeria is openly humiliated and denied his official privileges just for standing up against the plot by President Obasanjo to extend his rule through the back door.

One would have expected the democracy-loving white world to stand up against the evil regime of Obasanjo, but nothing like that has happened.

The clear message being sent across Black Africa seems to be that all one needs to succeed as president of his country is to be a friend of the West even at the expense of his people, just like Obasanjo, and not transparency and good
governance. The fact is now clearest that any Black African leader regarded as
good by the West is definitely evil or incompetent.

A case in point is the fate of General Abacha, who was condemned in the West, but left indelible landmarks of great infrastructural development in Nigeria.

For the benefit of those who are unaware of the facts. Abacha ruled Nigeria between November 1993 and June 1998 during which the oil market was not at all booming, but used the meagre resources wisely enough to rehabilitate roads, hospitals, universities and other public amenities through the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF).

Obasanjo's 'democratic government' has ruled Nigeria since may 1999, witnessing unprecedented increase in revenue through an unprecedented oil boom and irresponsible disposals of the most lucrative public corporations in the name of privatisation, but has achieved virtually no definite success in any sector.

Roads are basically still left where Abacha left them in 1998 and I speak as an enlightened Nigerian who knows Nigeria.

I visited Nigeria in October 2005 and travelled by coach round the country to see if there has been any changes. I travelled from Abuja to Abakaliki via Enugu; from Enugu to Onitsha - Benin - Ore - Lagos and from Lagos to Ibadan-Okene-Abuja and was shocked to see that we have wasted eight years of unprecedented economic boom.

There is global drumming about economic reforms and progress in Nigeria, while the reality is that only white rogues collaborating with the government are the real beneficiaries. Destroying fixed phone networks and public pay-phones in order to force every Nigerian to depend on GSM (which enriches mainly white South Africans) is what people call economic progress in Nigeria.

The fact that western media and their governments have continued to praise a government as evil as Obasanjo's despite clear evidence of everything they claim to stand against makes me confident that any government condemned by the West might not be all bad after all. Perhaps, Idi Amin might have not been as bad!

It seems to me that the only reason the white world is against Robert Mugabe is because he expelled white farmers, because genuine concern for the Black race would have meant that Nigeria, being the largest black society, would be given greater focus.

It is now clear to me that BBC and other British media are far worse than the
British National Party (BNP) which is labelled racist. The BNP is not threatening the existence and survival of the Black race while British journalists are.

I am most grateful for the hospitality of the British state for affording me the good life and respect that no Black country can afford its Black citizens. I do not shy away from the hard fact that the most racist white country would treat ordinary Black immigrants better than the best Black country would treat its own citizens.

Therefore, I am grateful to Britain, but at the same time believe that my people must be enlightened about the true location of racism. The real racism is not about local people genuinely resenting to uncontrolled immigration of dubious people into their country. I put myself in the shoes of ordinary white British people who have no other country to run to!

What I call racism at its worst is the one-sided stand of the "white world" on Zimbabwe.

It is accepted that the take-over of white farms could have been more better planned, but it cannot justify the current scale of global condemnation of Mugabe. What the white supremacists pretending to be messiahs are insinuating is that Zimbabwe cannot survive without white farmers who clearly were not even farming to feed Zimbabweans in the first place.

What is being propagated around the world is that no Black country can survive on its own. What needs to be done by enlightened and decolonised Black people is to rally round and use the Zimbabwean case as an inspiration for building successful societies.

Zimbabwe is by far more democratic and successful than most other Black African countries like Nigeria, Sudan, Uganda, DRC, Tongo, Eritrea, Ethiopia etc., but today it bears the ignoble reputation of being one of the worst places to live in!

The best of the 36 state governors of Nigeria is , yet we are still being fed with lies about Mugabe. It is therefore very clear that Mugabe would have remained a friend of the West if he had not expelled white farmers. Hence, it is purely and squarely about race!


My response

29.03.2007 07:28

1. 'Mbeki: "Mugabe is prepared to use force, any amount of force, he's prepared to kill the opposition, he's prepared to do anything that he considers necessary to stay in power, so that's why he's still in power. He's prepared to rig the elections which he does when they are held, so those are the reasons why Mugabe is still in power, and as you saw the beating of '

Prepared to use force? Has he used force? And to say he is prepared to kill is pure demonisation. Has this mbeki any proof Mugabe HAS killed? No, if he had hed give it.\\
Has Mugabe rigged elections? The 2002 elections were determined by african observer states to be fair:

'Zimbabwe elections free and fair, says Tonchi

THE head of the Electoral Commission Forum of Southern

But who do we know who rigs elections! The republicans in the US!
Yet the US (and Mbeki) has the gall to accuse Mugabe of vote fraud.

2.You saw the beating what you didnt see was the provocation that preceded it:
what actually happened (from the pt of view of the MDC camp, note):

The situation was getting heated - Tsvangirai and the police were arguing, and we were carrying on singing and shouting, louder and louder.

All in all there were only about 30 police and there were more than 1,000 - we were too many for them. They could not control what was happening.

They [police] started throwing tear gas.

We picked up their [police] discarded sticks and used them to beat their left-behind colleagues

Some of them took Tsvangirai and the MDC officials that were with him and forced them into their vehicles. They drove away in two pick-ups and a white Toyota defender.

A lot of people started fleeing from the tear gas but some of us stayed and sang, in defiance'

So very few police, and a defiant MDC, created what followed.

3. 'Mbeki: "There's no land reform in Zimbabwe, what there is, is a confiscation of private property owned by Zimbabwean citizens by a small clique that surrounds Mugabe. There is no land reform in Zimbabwe."

Now this is the crux of the matter. Land reform. This Mbeki talks of 'private citizens'...but who does he mean? Black peasants, or white cash croppong farmers,, who have the best land because the colonialists stole it from the black zimbabweans.
His catagorical 'there is no land reform' sounds like the desperate assertion of a man witn no evidence.

But WHO IS this Moeletsi Mbeki...well, lets see:

hes a business man and political analyst:

'Mr Moeletsi Mbeki is a brother to South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, has a strong background in journalism, with a resume that includes a Nieman Fellowship and time at the BBC. He was a media consultant for the ANC in the '90s, and is currently the chairman of Endemol South Africa. He has always bee outspoken and differs on many things from his brother South Africa's president. He caused waves when he said: Africans Were Better Off During Colonial Times Than They Are Now'

So is he simply an ignoramus unwittingly serving the whiet farmers/western neocolonials? Does he know anything about the background of Morgan Tsvangarai and his party?



29.03.2007 12:24

Since when have deathsquads, a fucked economy, a news blackout and seizure of property been indiciators of anything but tyranny?

B Wildered

No wonder you are B Wildered

31.03.2007 01:06

You are too dependent on the mass media, which has lied and demonised any leader their leaders say should be demonised.


US and Guardian tried to bring down Mugabe

06.04.2007 16:06

Ewen MacAskill in Washington
Friday April 6, 2007
The Guardian

The US admitted openly for the first time yesterday that it was actively working to undermine Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe.

Although officially Washington does not support regime change, a US state department report published yesterday acknowledged that it was supporting opposition politicians in the country and others critical of Mr Mugabe.

The state department also admitted sponsoring events aimed at "discrediting" statements made by Mr Mugabe's government.,,2051354,00.html

Its no wondered B'wildered is so messed up though.

Look at the column of Zimbabwe stories next to the text:

In this section
US reveals its efforts to topple Mugabe regime

Second day of Zimbabwe's strike lacks impact

Abducted and branded by Mugabe's hit squads

Zimbabwe opposition leader arrested

West tries to unite Zanu-PF rebels to bring down Mugabe from within

Zimbabwean archbishop calls for mass protests

Mugabe threatens diplomats with expulsion

Opposition prepares for final push, but can it lead a weary population?

Mugabe opponent beaten again while trying to leave country

Mugabe's bloody assault presents Zimbabwe opposition with crucial test

Zimbabwe MP Nelson Chamisa tells of his beating ordeal

In praise of... Morgan Tsvangirai

Battered Zimbabwe protesters sent from court to hospital

Mugabe government unapologetic over Tsvangirai

Fears grow for arrested Mugabe opponent

The Guardian has yet to admit it's role in the attempted putsch.......

Vic Falls

Upcoming Coverage
View and post events
Upcoming Events UK
24th October, London: 2015 London Anarchist Bookfair
2nd - 8th November: Wrexham, Wales, UK & Everywhere: Week of Action Against the North Wales Prison & the Prison Industrial Complex. Cymraeg: Wythnos o Weithredu yn Erbyn Carchar Gogledd Cymru

Ongoing UK
Every Tuesday 6pm-8pm, Yorkshire: Demo/vigil at NSA/NRO Menwith Hill US Spy Base More info: CAAB.

Every Tuesday, UK & worldwide: Counter Terror Tuesdays. Call the US Embassy nearest to you to protest Obama's Terror Tuesdays. More info here

Every day, London: Vigil for Julian Assange outside Ecuadorian Embassy

Parliament Sq Protest: see topic page
Ongoing Global
Rossport, Ireland: see topic page
Israel-Palestine: Israel Indymedia | Palestine Indymedia
Oaxaca: Chiapas Indymedia
All Regions
South Coast
Other Local IMCs
Bristol/South West
Social Media
You can follow @ukindymedia on and Twitter. We are working on a Twitter policy. We do not use Facebook, and advise you not to either.
Support Us
We need help paying the bills for hosting this site, please consider supporting us financially.
Other Media Projects
Dissident Island Radio
Corporate Watch
Media Lens
Earth First! Action Update
Earth First! Action Reports
All Topics
Animal Liberation
Climate Chaos
Energy Crisis
Free Spaces
Ocean Defence
Other Press
Public sector cuts
Social Struggles
Terror War
Workers' Movements
Major Reports
NATO 2014
G8 2013
2011 Census Resistance
Occupy Everywhere
August Riots
Dale Farm
J30 Strike
Flotilla to Gaza
Mayday 2010
Tar Sands
G20 London Summit
University Occupations for Gaza
Indymedia Server Seizure
COP15 Climate Summit 2009
Carmel Agrexco
G8 Japan 2008
Stop Sequani
Stop RWB
Climate Camp 2008
Oaxaca Uprising
Rossport Solidarity
Smash EDO
Past Major Reports
Encrypted Page
You are viewing this page using an encrypted connection. If you bookmark this page or send its address in an email you might want to use the un-encrypted address of this page.
If you recieved a warning about an untrusted root certificate please install the CAcert root certificate, for more information see the security page.

Global IMC Network

satellite tv


estrecho / madiaq
la plana
northern england
nottingham imc
united kingdom

Latin America
chile sur
cmi brasil
cmi sucre
puerto rico


South Asia

United States
hudson mohawk
kansas city
minneapolis/st. paul
new hampshire
new jersey
new mexico
new orleans
north carolina
north texas
rogue valley
saint louis
san diego
san francisco
san francisco bay area
santa barbara
santa cruz, ca
tampa bay
united states
western mass

West Asia


fbi/legal updates
mailing lists
process & imc docs