Sunday, 10 October 2010
WHO IS THE DOG? MUMBI PHIRI OR JOURNALISTS
ALLOW me to join the clarion call for Munali Member of Parliament (MP)Mumbi Phiri to apologise to the media fraternity in Zambia for calling journalists who work in the public media as 'dogs' beloging to Information and Broadcasting Minister Ronnie Shikapwasha.
Firstly, I want to declare my interest that I work for the public media in Lusaka. I am speaking as a journalist not only of Zambia but the world over because the work that I do is represented in different parts of the world. I would still have written this piece if it was my good colleagues in the private media who were slurred.
I am also not projecting myself as a 'vuvuzela' for Zambian journalists and my colleagues in the local fraternity. I am presenting my personal views on this matter and I am passionate about that because I love my profession.
I am not necessarily calling for an out-right apology from Mumbi, but I simply want to bring her to a sense of levelheadedness when she talks about some of these things such as politics because posterity is a danger in this regard. She must not get exited in front of the cameras and microphones because those are just electronic tools that can be switched on and off at any time.
I know Mr Shikapwasha tames dogs at home, but I am yet to learn from Mumbi how those beasts are able to churn stories for the Minister.
I am aware that some myopic and shallow headed readers of this blog will come with their semantics that I am biased, but it simply shows that some people have thrown themselves to the wind. But whatever comments this attracts, I do not care because my heart is at peace and my head enjoys a clear concious against any alleged biases.
I have know the MP for Munali as an out-spoken woman. She has said many good and bad things just in this short period she has been in parliament for the first time. In fact, I suspect that she has said so many things, surpussing the record of her opposition political party leader, who has been in politics for decades now.
Mumbi has been reprimanded in the House before and I have in mind a physical confontation she provocked against her counterpart for Kawambwa Elizabeth Chitika-Mulobeka recently.
It has therefore, not come as a shocker that Mumbi has extended her blind attacks and frustrations to the public media journalists.
This latest 'puff' is a pure exibit that the Munali MP has a very shallow understanding of matters. As an MP, Mrs Mumbi has to learn to have courtesy. She must learn about the fourth arm of government, the media and how it operates. I take great exception at her utterances against us. She must take her frustrations elsewhere because we do not direct society how to react to certain things. We simply inform, educate and entertain. It is up to society to make their choices and decisions. And the media has informed the people of Munali about her band language on the journalist and these voters will now make their decicisions and choices based on that information.
Hooliganism has no room among us. Mumbi must not play to the gallery. Mumbi must learn how to bring her brain before her mouth and not vice versa. She must show restraint and order in her selection loud of words because society will judge her by her utterances, which have been so boring lately. Even the voters in Munali constituency must now be making certain perceptions on their leader.
As a person who aspires form government in 2011 and to be a Minister for instance in that government, it is increducluos to entertain the language that was attributed to her on the journalists.
Mumbi must realise that the public media played a critical role in her quest to be where she is at Manda Hill. I persoanally recall, covering her small meetings in Munali in 2006. I was even at the ballot colatig centre during the day and night on the day of voting. Therefore, to insult the fourth estate in that manner explains what kind of leaders society hould recommend to the pit-latrin.
It is imoral and hypocrisy of the worst order to equate professional journalists to dogs in the open like that.
If Mumbi had complaints about the public media practitioners or particular individuals and if she is a woman who undertstands and respects how institutions operate, she could have persued the right channels to air her grievances. I think it is orderly, more polite and professional to do that. It also mirrors what kind of character you are.
Mumbi must realise that all the rantings she has pre-occupied herself with are all aimed at pushing for her party to form the next government. I was wondering whether the public media journalists would still remain 'dogs' if under mysterious means her hallucination becomes reality? Is Mumbi going to keep the 'dogs' if she is appointed Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, for instance. God forbid!
From the reactions in the media, I am standing on firm ground with a clear mind that the people of Munali and Zambia as a whole can see clearly who the 'dog' is now.