By Clayton Shereni

As the country continue to witness a sharp increase in political violence, a recently released media report has warned against the use of hate speech and inflammatory language.

This came out in a report by Media Monitors for July 30-August 4, 2023.

The report is the Second Issue of Media Watch titled: An Analysis of Coverage of the Electoral Period By the Media.

The report noted that reportage of hate speech and inflammatory political statements mostly by public media could lead to violence.

“The implications are that journalists become conveyors of inflammatory language as the case with the public-owned media, when they should be using non-confrontational terms to all political players. Political parties’ use of ‘hard’ language such as kurakasha and kusvasvanga project a climate of hostility which can spill off to supporters and result in a surge in violence,” reads part of the report.

The report comes at a time the country is currently witnessing serious political violence.

Masvingo’s rural areas mostly Bikita, Gutu, Mwenezi and Chiredzi have become havens of violence ahead of the August 23 polls.

According to Community Tolerance Reconciliation and Development (COTRAD), at least 40 politically motivated violence cases have been recorded so far in Masvingo.

In its (Media Monitors) analysis of media coverage of political parties by state media, the ruling party, Zanu PF got more coverage (59 percent), Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) had 19 percent, now disqualified Independent candidate Saviour Kasukuwere had eight (8) percent, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by presidential race dropout Douglas Mwonzora was allocated six (6) percent while other ‘small’ political parties shared the remainder.