First Published in The Standard, Sunday, 03 April 2011 13:58
When I tune in to ZBC radio stations and sometimes to ZTV, I cannot help but hold my breath. Are the authorities running these stations aware that the language being used is often derogatory and abusive? Has our nation sunk so low as to imitate the communists of old?
One communist leader Anatole Lunarcharsky coined this slogan at the height of communism: “We need hate; only then will we win the world.”
Radio Leningrad was then quoted bombarding verbal insults: “The Gospel and the Christian legends must be fought without sympathy and with all possible means,” declared the announcer.
Is this the route we desire to take when dealing with people who do not think like us or support our party?
I used to chide those who say history repeats itself. Now I am convinced that some of us only learn after the event. Lots of preparation should go into programmes that are aired on broadcasting services. It is dehumanising to listen to these so-called trained broadcasters scolding everyone else except themselves and their masters.
One may argue and say the time has come for such jibes. And so what! If hate language does the job then there is no need to beat people before and during elections.
There was a time when certain abusive language was not permissible on public radio stations but not anymore. Zimbabweans are known all over the world as the most charming people, but not at home. We have inherited and received one of the best education in Africa and we seem to be busy destroying it all.
Hate language is more dangerous to the one who uses it. One may think they are doing well by freely saying unprintable words (which in this country are now printable) yet those who listen to you can clearly see through all that. Those who are responsible for this degrading situation on our erstwhile good stations should know that everybody is watching, including those who support them. Soon they will be saying, “We also did not like it, what could we have done.”
Bad language and hate language devour their perpetrators. You reap what you plant and plant what you reap. Those who live by the sword will die by the sword, so goes the old adage.
Rev Dr Levee Kadenge