By Nyasha Chingono – Civic society groups in Bulawayo have blasted hate speech on ZBC saying it does not unify people of Zimbabwe ,encouraging Zimbabweans to learn from mistakes of other African countries like Rwanda where hate speech the infamous genocide.
Speaking during a National Indaba on Minority Languages in Bulawayo on Wednesday, said that media play a pivotal role in promoting languages and misuse of language has political implications.
“Civil wars have been fought as a result of derogatory language use on public platforms. In Rwanda people were butchered due to being labeled as cockroaches.
“Likewise in the 80’s Joshua Nkomo was said to be a dissident, leading to the massacre of 20000 Ndebele in Gukurahundi, “he said.
ZBC has since 1980 propagated state sponsored hate speech using jingles and news bulletins to cause hatred for political opponents.
Minister Moyo who was a guest of honor at the event said the only way to take this country forward is to recognise every language as official.
“If we want to take this country forward, we have to codify all languages and the constitution has to recognise all languages. Looking down upon other languages is cheap and the electorate should not vote for people who undermine other people’s languages, “Moyo said.
The annual indaba invited different minority groups like the San, Kalanga, Venda, Tonga, Namibia, Suthu, Tswana and Ndau among others to discuss the international provisions for minority groups and the way forward to include minority languages in the education curriculum.
The civic society in conjunction with the minority groups of Zimbabwe resolved that the minority languages should be recognised constitutionally and given prominence in the media, not villagizing the languages.
Part of the delegation where the San people from Tsholotsho who according to history are believed to be the indigenous Zimbabwe, yet their language and cultural heritage is nearing extinction.
They presented their cultural through dances and traditional songs, to the delight of the delegates.
The civic society is also lobbying for the opening up of the airwaves for community radio stations so as to promote indigenous languages which are likely to be extinct if Zimbabweans do not guard them jealously.