BBC Story On Mbare Skirmish Divides Opinion

So the BBC’s Andrew Harding posted a story on Friday saying he and the MDC-T guys he was hanging out with for a campaign in Mbare were attacked by ‘ZANU-pf thugs’.

Automatically the wires stated that it was political violence all over again and the template marked all the right boxes.

MDC-T guy campaigning. Check. He is in Mbare, a township where all types of crazy things happen. Check. Some MDC-T referendum posters are torn down. Check. The media guys get attacked too. Check. 

This confirms a view of Zimbabwe that is the norm.

However online some people have started questioning the story. One thing for sure is that everyone is campaigning on the same side tomorrow. It is  Yes campaign. Both sides want credibility so yes, they want a peaceful referendum. It doesn’t mean that foot soldiers will follow but when you look at it you realise that it is a bit strange.

First and foremost the whole account is based on the words of the MDC-T guys. There is no attempt to speak to anyone else about the story.

Another failure is that there is no clear indication that this was a case of political violence. The details are sketchy and a red flag is raised by this statement by the first woman who attacks  the campaigner:

Who are you? Why are you putting those posters up? Put them where you live. I’m not going to allow you to do that here.

As Techzim’s Limbikani Makani said on his twitter: Nothing justifies the beating. However we’ve been told it was political violence. would be great to verify this. 

He also implied the story was open to criticism in that the woman in question could have protesting against having material put in her wall. He just wants more detail.

Prolific tweeter Nigel ‘Sir Nige’ Mugamu decried the whole situation saying that the whole situation simply gave the ammunition to those who came to Zimbabwe with templates.

Meanwhile, blogger Joseph Ruzvidzo would have none of this saying that he felt that the whole template story was washed up and inconsistent with the fact that someone had actually gotten beaten up. He dismissed the need for further inquisition on the veracity of the whole story.

A few weeks ago this story would have been all over Twitter and Facebook but it seems as if people are a bit skeptical now, not so keen to just take stories and believe them.

Just a little interesting read provided for us by a friend, Nqaba Matshazi. It debunks the myth of the white journalist walking in townships alone in search of a story. Click here to read it.

To read Andrew Harding’s story, click here.


MOB US: Were you in Mbare this morning? Did you see what happened? Leave a comment below or send us an email by click here. You can also get us on whatsapp/text: +263776595560