Zimbabweans and the international community have been shocked after Nehanda Radio (www.nehandaradio.com) on their online publication like many before them like Zimonline Press which defamed Betty Makoni and tried to distract and destroy her work.
Nehanda Radio wrote ,`The exiled founder of the Girl Child Network (GCN) , Betty Makoni has been asked to explain a picture circulating on the internet purportedly showing her in the company of one of President Robert Mugabe’s bodyguards.Makoni left , Zimbabwe in a huff after senior politicians in ZANU PF began hounding her and her organization over their activities which sought to represent abused girls in the country. Most of the ZANU PF politicians were accused of abusing girls’.
Nehanda Radio followed by inviting the public to write opinions ,articles and post comments to attack Betty Makoni.Betty Makoni has called upon the Zimbabwean community to stop the defamation and any other actions that distract her work which has grown internationally and gaining support for the benefit of African girls especially those in Zimbabwe.
In her response to the article Betty Makoni`s Spokerperson has asked Fortune Tazvida the editor of the online paper to be mindful of the fact that Betty Makoni serves a vulnerable constituency of girls and so he should desist from all harassments and spreading malicious rumors and lies which confuse the general public as to whether they can support such a character.
In an email directed to Fortune Tazvida which he has not responded to Betty Makoni wrote that
`Fortune I realise you are a friend on face book and never imagined you would take a picture of my family and abuse it the way you did. Many friends email me and ask questions direct as I communicate directly and every Sunday I run a Girls and Women Empowerment Radio show where all my friends and supporters call in.You could have done an honourable thing to ask more about my husband and sons as my story has been shared publicly to help empower others like me`,wrote Betty Makoni
Fortune Tazvida has not responded and it is hoped he will act professionally and retract this story.In the meantime the link to the picture is not there but the website has decided to keep the title of story and some adverts so that unsuspecting readers click and give the website some hits
Meanwhile Betty Makoni has called the British Government to launch a full investigation into all Online newspapers harassing women and girls and use all laws on bullying and harassment to protect the Zimbabwean women in the UK. She said she is aware of a group of secret agents stalking her and using google to post defamatory stories so that unsuspecting donors would close donations.
`The situation is terrible in our community and needs urgent intervention as we know everyone doing this. As British residents we have to be protected from all harassment and it is enshrined in all laws protecting women and girls that we need protection in this country ,`said another woman who declined to be named but face similar harassment.
Meanwhile Nehanda Radio has been called upon to remove the article and picture on their website and offer a public apology as nothing in their story carries water as all pictures used in the story are mere fabrications and the usual defamation of human rights defenders characteristic of Zimbabwean community.
There are a total of eight Zimbabwe online newspapers on the internet being used to target human rights defenders .The idea is to post a defamatory article so that those who support a charity stop doing so. In most cases such articles are circulated when human rights defenders are about to receive awards for their good work .
Muzvare Betty Makoni Information Department