ZIMBABWE GOVERNMENT STITCHES UP INTERNATIONAL MEDIA OVER PLANE CRASH HOAX
This was the scene yesterday at the Harare International Airport, showing plumes of smoke rising from tyres being burnt to simulate a plane crash. The BBC, CNN and other international networks were hoodwinked for a while into believing that there had been a plane crash. Even hospitals and the Fire Brigade were not told it was drill and this was all "to test preparedness", according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwe, 06 August 2010
The Coalition Government of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe has royally stitched up international media networks like the BBC and CNN, feeding them lies about a non-existent plane crash at Harare International Airport and then blaming them for reporting the lies.
Last night, the main news on Zimbabwe television went on and on about the sinister agenda of the BBCs and the CNNs of this world, how they have a hatred of Zimbabwe and insist only on reporting things that paint Zimbabwe in the worst possible light and so on and so forth.
International media reported that there had been a plane crash at Harare International Airport and that the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe had confirmed this, saying there were not fatalities.
But it turns out this was just a safety drill, complete with plumes of smoke and all the rest of it.
Zimbabwe television immediately got in on the act, naming the BBC correspondent, Brian Hungwe, several times on the main evening news, asking why he jumped to "confirm lies his masters" in London about the drill. Hungwe had told the BBC in London that he was at the airport and could see plumes of smoke from the scene of the crash.
While it is true that only bad news (internationally, not just when it comes to Zimbabwe), is preferred by the news networks, the fact that the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe confirmed this "accident" makes the government an active participant in the dissemination of the falsehood.
Which makes their noise against the international networks sound rather hollow. But of course, this Coalition government is sounding more and more like the old government, with the active participation of the new kids on the block, the MDCs.
A Civil Aviation Authority press conference held at Harare International Airport yesterday revealed that the drill had been so "realistic" that hospitals were not told it was a drill and were instead told that there had been a plane crash and that bodies and the injured were being brought to them.
Dummies were actually ferried to the hospitals, apparently, "to test preparedness". The Fire Brigade was also not told of this exercise in order to test how they would respond if this were a real emergency.
Many people say the secrecy was uncalled for and caused unnecessary panic.
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