Media onslaught: Zimbabwe orders Independent weekly newspaper to retract VP Mnangagwa Dubai Jet story

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Government yesterday dismissed as false reports which appeared in this week’s edition of the Zimbabwe Independent, alleging that Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa hired a private plane to Dubai to seek audience with President Mugabe.

Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Mr George Charamba said in a statement that the allegations were malicious and meant to soil the image of the Acting President.Emmerson-Mnangagwa_3549632b

Mr Charamba called on the Zimbabwe Independent to retract the story.

“In its issue covering the period January 15-21, 2016, the Zimbabwe Independent headline read: ‘Mnangagwa’s Dubai plan fails’. It is alleged inter-alia, in this publication, which is flawed with falsehoods, that the Honourable Acting President hired a private plane, whose details are articulated in the publication, to Dubai,” he said.

“We view the above as a vicious and malicious publication meant to soil the image of the Honourable Acting President.”

Mr Charamba said arrangements for Acting President Mnangagwa’s travels were subject to Government procedures and not for him to decide.

“The information is false and portrays the Honourable Vice President in bad light in the eyes of the public,” he said.

“The facility for the travel of a Vice President on any assignment is not for him to decide, but rather an Executive decision subject to Government procedures.

“In this case the Honourable Acting President is no exception.

“We, therefore, call upon the Zimbabwe Independent to retract the statement.”

The story in the Zimbabwe Independent claimed Acting President Mnangagwa suffered a huge setback after First Lady Grace Mugabe scuttled his plans for a private meeting in Dubai with President Mugabe.

The story alleged that Acting President Mnangagwa wanted to “clear the air on his status and future in the fractious ruling party” with President Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe Independent alleged that Acting President Mnangagwa incensed the First Family after he allegedly hired a private plane which was formally owned by the Malawian government and sold to an arms company by former Malawian president Joyce Banda.-Herald