West in bid to capture local media

Political Reporter

The United States (US) and European Union (EU) Embassies in Harare have poured millions of United States dollars on Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) in a bid to capture that media entity ahead of 2023 Harmonised General Elections.

A source who spoke to this publication said that the two Embassies are funding anti-government programmes and have chosen AMH to publish and broadcast news articles and documentaries whose content puts the ruling ZANU PF and Government in bad light.

“The EU and US Embassies in Harare have extended US$1.8 million to AMH so that the news stable can write anti-Government articles. The funds are also for documentaries that will portray the Government and ruling party as evil. These documentaries will be aired on AMH’s Heart and Soul online television channel. These anti-government programmes commenced in May this year and are expected to run until the end of 2023 Harmonised General Elections,” said the source.

The source added that other Western Embassies namely the Swedish, Italian, Switzerland and Netherlands Embassies have also expressed interests to fund the anti-government programmes in Zimbabwe.  However, these Embassies expressed reservations on giving the funds directly to AMH fearing abuse of the funds.

“These Embassies told AMH that they will release some funds through some unnamed non-governmental organisations. They fear that if the funds were to be released directly to AMH, they might be abused as there are reports of financial abuses within that stable,” said the source.

According to the source, the Swedish Ambassador, Asa Peterson has been holding clandestine meetings with AMH editors to deliberate on how they should intensify publication of anti-government news. However, Peterson reportedly told AMH owner, Trevor Ncube to take a back seat on the project because of his tainted image resulting from his support of President Mnangagwa

The source further revealed that the AMH editors assured Peterson that they will be up to the task but demanded resources such as all-terrain vehicles, smartphones and laptops and funds to resource their journalists. The editors said that AMH should have a reporter in every corner of the country so that the anti-government project will be a success.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the West is also paying some social media influencers such as Hopewell Chin’ono to intensify their anti-government stance on social media. The idea is to alienate the ruling ZANU PF and Government from the people ahead of the 2023 plebiscite.