National Commissioner of Police William Dlamini is a victim of an alleged fraudulent scheme master-minded by businessman Machawe Gama, and the ethics of journalism requires us, as journalists, to protect the interests of victims, regardless of their status in society and without undermining the rights of the perpetrator.
Now, it seems Machawe Gama, the OnTime Investments Director who publicly disclosed that he was venturing into multi-million projects in the midst of the stand-off between his companies and victims of his alleged fraudulent schemes is enjoying the support of the media to blow the matter out of proportion and delay to pay back his victims.
I have always mentioned that journalists in this country are corrupt to the core and they always side with money instead of being objective and advocate for justice. That’s why Gama keeps on receiving a huge mileage bragging that he has ventured into multi-million projects despite owing members of the public huge amounts of money. It is very unfortunate that National Commissioner William Dlamini had to be subjected to such despite losing money to an investment which he, like all citizens, hoped it was genuine as advertised in the local press. Well, knowing the forces who were having sleepless nights before Dlamini was confirmed by the King into the position, I was not surprised this morning to learn that a victim was making headlines and the perpetrator who conned the public millions of Emalangeni is enjoying the media backing.
As journalists we should be putting pressure on Gama to refund members of the public their money, but just because some of us are always driven by brown-envelope journalism, we are scandalizing victims of the alleged fraudulent scheme.
As the media we should always uphold the principles of justice regardless of who the victim is, we must even defend the King if we feel he has been subjected to injustice and hold him accountable in the event he abused his powers. This means even public figures should be treated fairly by the media, it is however regrettable that money has corrupted this country including the media such that the truth is becoming scarce day by day.
The power of the media should not be manipulated to advance interests of certain individuals who are working towards unseating the National Commissioner by hijacking private matters and blow them out of proportion. Everyone including myself has his or her own sympathizer’s, and businessman Machawe Gama should understand that some citizens secured loans in the banks to invest in his scheme and therefore tempers are high among the victims, they want their money!
As the media, we would be making a huge mistake and subjecting citizens to injustice if we categorize victims and scandalize the high-profile ones merely for demanding what is due to them from Gama. Justice means fairness and journalists should always upload the principles of impartiality when executing their duties instead of being captured by people who allegedly defrauded innocent people. Before the National Commissioner becomes the most senior policer officer, he is a father with an obligation to provide for his family, therefore, there was nothing wrong with him pumping money into an investment which he believed was genuine as advertised by the media.
National Commissioner of Police William Dlamini should be held accountable if it’s proven that he did instruct those debt collectors to harass Gama but at the time, we need to strike a balance because he was within his rights to demand what is due to him. The reason I am questioning the legitimacy of this matter particularly the alleged instruction from Dlamini to threaten is the fact that I have privileged information how the forces worked to ensure that he was not appointed into the position. I am always worried when the media ignored national issues and align itself with certain forces to fight personal battles, journalists should remain independent and impartial.
We all have debts and we would be making a huge mistake if we manipulate our powers as journalists and scandalize the victims, hence, Gama must stop using the media to fight his battles. Journalism is about disseminating information and holding those in power accountable, we are not a debt management institution, thus, we should not take sides and protect the businessman, and however, in this matter of public interest, the rights of the victims should be protected.
In conclusion, let me emphasize that as the media, we should always exercise fairness for all citizens instead of chasing money and pushing agendas of few individuals. Businessman Machawe Gama must just pay back his victims and he should understand at this juncture, that tension could be high between him, the victims and their sympathizers. In the process, we expect the media to make sure that the victims, regardless of status in society get justice.
National Commissioner of Police William Dlamini