The Zimbabwe Republic Police has ironically taken a full page advert in the Herald to accuse the state owned newspaper of cooking up statistics on accidents. This follows an article in the Herald which said that road accidents were on the increase despite the heavy police presence on the country’s roads. The ZRP did not take kindly to the implication that they may be partly responsible for the increase in accidents and reacted in a heavy handed manner, in which they accused everyone else of lying and blaming them.
Part of the statement reads:
RESPONSE: FALSE ARTICLE HERALD OF 17 JULY 2017
…( Logic demands that one compares 2014 to 2015 then presents 2016 and 2017 figure, in order to show a trend which either goes up or down. The reason is that the analysis should show causes of road traffic accidents and not one’s opinion that ZRP is causing accidents.
Contrary to the figures published in the Herald, the correct road traffic accident statistics for 2015 is 41 494 while in 2016 we recorded 38 620. This indicates a reduction in road traffic accidents. It is therefore incumbent for journalists to cross check figures with relevant authorities before rushing to misinform members of the public. We are very willing to give this information when it is used in bonafide.
Journalism ethics detect (sic) that when you write a story it should be factual, objective and balanced. This story is far from that. Our journalism is now fraught with corrupt activities. Journalism is not about causing chaos and undermining law and order in any country but informing and educating the public. Whilst as the media you argue that you have freedom of expression, this freedom should be undertaken with utmost responsibility.
It is clear that police officers on the road enforce road rules and regulations and surely to blame them for a reckless driver who speeds, goes through red robots and cause accidents is unwarranted. We have checked and established that the driver of King Lion bus never passed through a Police roadblock and be that as it may, does it give anyone a warrant to speed knowing that Police will be blamed. It is surprising that despite Police giving a correct figure of 43 dead, you continue to write 45 dead. shows how blind you are to correct information and keen to pursue your own agendas.
We challenge you to back your 100 000 figure with proof. The figure is false, delusionary and you should therefore take responsibility for the misleading information. Of late we have observed a trend of blaming the police for virtually everything and we are quite aware that there are drivers of these hidden agendas who have been planted everywhere to cause alarm and despondency. Coincidentally some of these noisemakers are known corrupt elements in wolf skin. No wonder why each time the police are in the process of arresting these offenders some quarters start making a lot noise as a way of diverting attention from their own misdemeanours.
More: Herald Hard Copy
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