In the global environment, politics are both local and global. Freedom of Speech and expression is a universal right for all citizens in the world. It fosters democracy because leaders are held accountable by their people through the media. The media has to be able to question and analyze events and report on their findings in order to move towards a democratic state. In a truly democratic society journalists live without fear of persecution for doing their job well and asking the tough questions. In a democracy leaders have to be accessible to journalists. However, democracy sometimes means something different in certain parts of Africa. State sponsored media outlet interviews are used for public relations and no tough questions are asked and leaders are not accountable to the citizens.
Empowered citizenry welcomes free press and this leads to development. A major characteristic of all failing states is that the leaders are not answerable to anyone. When journalists challenge bad leaders African cultures label them ‘bad’ creating leaders with a god like complex. Africans have low standards for their leaders hence they also have the most dictators and suffer at the hands of merciless strongmen. Things are improving but more work needs to be done.
Misinformed citizens of Africa chastised journalists from Sahara TV for asking the questions that journalists and reporters should be asking all their leaders. This is not traditional African culture because in Africa the king had advisors and did not run wild and unrestrained as these dictators do, the idea of a man with absolute power is from colonialism.
Adeola was asking questions given the background of Zimbabwe
• About 20,000 people were killed during the Gukurahundi genocides in Matabeleland in early 1980s
• 500 Activists killed in Zimbabwe Election Violence, few ever prosecuted
• These are the same questions asked in 2005 by Zimbabwe’s Minister of Propaganda, Jonathan Moyo
• Zimbabwe has had the same leader for the past 35 years
• Last election voters roll had names of dead people who were said to have voted in election
• The first family owes $8M withdrawn from Reserve Bank by Mugabe
• Mugabe is never interviewed by independent African journalists