BOAF – Mr Ray Ndlovu alleges that Dr. James Makamba’s case falls flat
Mr. Ray Ndlovu wrote as follows in relation to a matter involving Kestrel Corporation Private Limited (KC), a company in which Dr. James Makamba is a beneficial shareholder that entered into a transaction with Brainsworks in respect of shares held by KC in a company, Empowerment Corporation (EC) that is a beneficial shareholder in Telecel Private Limited (Telecel Zim):
“I read the story above this morning and could not help but wonder what could have provoked Mr. Ndlovu to write this story especially fixed with the knowledge that this very matter is subjudice given that an application on behalf of Kestrel is before the High Court challenging the ex parte order appointing a Judicial Manager in relation to the company.
How could a rational journalist conclude that a case whose merits are still to be determined has fallen flat?
I have watched journalist standards being compromised if not undermined by stories that seem on the face of it to agenda-laden rather than based on facts.
Mr. Ndlovu knows and ought to know what a provisional court order is and is not.
All it does is to give an opportunity to any interested party to come forward and provide reasons why it is not in the interests of justice for the order in question not to be permanent.
In this case, it is not in dispute that Kestrel has already approached the Court disputing the decision to grant this order.
Responsible journalism ought to limit a journalist’s subjectivity but compel the person to do justice to the correct facts in a dispute.
In this case, it is clear that Mr. Ndlovu has gone beyond what his profession should allow him.
However, Mr Ndlovu is not alone in the practice that has now become a habit to stray beyond the issues in any cause by seeking to create facts that are non-existent but fit into a frame that seeks to assassinate the characters of targeted persons.
This practice should be exposed with the contempt it deserves,” said Mr. Donovan Wyngaard who is leading an initiative promoted by the www.the1873fm.com radio station to improve the quality of journalism in Africa.
Who is Mr. Ndlovu?
He is a Zimbabwean-based writer for the Sunday Times as well as for for the Business Day, a sister publication to the Sunday Times.
Previously, he was the Assistant Bureau Chief at The Financial Gazette, a Zimbabwean Business Weekly Newspaper.
He has previously been a contributor to the SA weekly publication, the Mail & Guardian, as well as the City Press, African Independent and Africa.
He has been a contributor to the Guardian (UK) and Der Spiegel (Germany).
He is also a contributor nn Powerfm 98.7 radio where he often provides commentary on political and business news in Zimbabwe and the Sadc region.
He is also the author of “In the Jaws of the Crocodile.”
In this book he attempts to tell a story of how President Mnangagwa fled Zimbabwe following his dismissal as Mugabe’s Vice President and his brief exile in South Africa.
Mr. Stanley Dube, the Station Manager of the 1873 FM radio had this to say: “It is ironic that when one is challenged to identify Zimbabwean journalists who the public can bank on to tell the story as it is, the name of Mr. Ndlovu occassionally comes up as one of the shining stars.
However, when one digs deeper into his works, it becomes clear that the standards of journalism in not only Zimbabwe have diminished.
If we take the Kestrel story, it is true that the story has crossed the Limpopo into SA through the instrumentality of Mr. Ndlovu.
The story seeks to inform the public that the merits of Kestrel’s legal challenge of the ex parte application have been determined before the return date.
It also seeks to create the impression that Kestrel is in danger as it is now factually under the control of a Judicial Manager irrespective of the fact that Kestrel has taken the next legal step contemplated in terms of the rules of court.
The Banking on Africa’s Future (BOAF) that our radio station is promoting seeks to provoke, ignite, inspire and persuade a change in the mindsets of many of us who believe that facts must hold only when they are linked to the actors.
Our corporate heritage shows are aimed building shared understanding about the differences between juristic entities like Kestrel and the person of Dr. Makamba.
One would expect a person like Mr Ndlovu to know better that a dispute involving Kestrel and another juristic person has to be reported and determined by courts on the basis that the rights and obligations inherent in the dispute must involve issues.
We have established that a deposit was paid to Kestrel in anticipation of the acquisition of this company’s right, interest and title to the shares in EC and indirectly into Telecel.
This deal was not perfected and concluded as anticipated by the parties to it.
Mr. Ndlovu knows and ought to have known that no dispute existed or exists between the persons of Messrs. Manyere and Dr. Makamba.
If this fact was known to Mr. Ndlovu before writing the story, then it would be irresponsible to seek to distort the true nature of the dispute and the parties in the dispute.
If it is true that Kestrel’s consideration was and has not been paid in full, then surely a responsible journalist would have been compelled to tell the story as it is.
In fact a responsible journalist would have known of the adversities occasioned on Kestrel by the purchaser’s inability to complete the deal in the manner set out in the agreements signed, sealed and delivered.
It cannot escape the mind of any rational person to ask whether the story penned by Mr. Ndlovu is a consequence of malice or it reflects the lack of understanding of what is at stake in this matter.
When we talk about the importance of the rule of law, it seems estoric to many of our listeners because subjects of this nature require practical examples like this story and the manner in which Mr. Ndlovu has chosen to approach it.
We simply need real life stories to show that the media has a role to play in shaping and defining the character and personality of the future we deserve.
We cannot and should not be indifferent when the profession is put into disrepute by people we look up to.
Kestrel needs to have its day in court and it must be allowed to present its facts without the media playing a cheerleading role.
It is not necessary for Mr. Ndlovu to anticipate the court’s ruling when the matter is heard.
Mr. Ndlovu knows and ought to know that the order that Kestrel is challenging was granted in its absence and therefore such an order in terms of common law and the rules of court is subject to rescission.
But where is wisdom and understanding about the limitations imposed by the constitution on what and how the media should report on stories like the Kestrel matter?”