If President Jacob Zuma's facilitation team relied on The Herald for its understanding of the situation in Zimbabwe, it would believe that President Zuma's visit to Zimbabwe today is being held against the background of "tremendous progress made in respect to the constitution-making process and in respect of the consolidation of peace in the country."
This is the briefing that President Robert Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, officially gave to the Zanu propaganda sheet that purports to be a national newspaper.
His evidence of the tremendous progress in the constitution-making process in respect of which the consolidation of peace in the country was going on was that that President Mugabe was on record calling for peace in Zimbabwe ahead of the referendum and national elections which Charamba also briefs they are scheduled for this year - itself a deliberate misinformation by the Presidential spokesman.
Charamba's statement to The Herald today was clearly an attempt to publicly lobby President Zuma who would certainly be aware of the current stand-off where Zanu (PF) has now rejected some major aspects of the draft constitution accepted by its negotiators, while knowing fully well that the issues that they are rejecting are fundamental to any constitution with any semblance of good governance.
Charamba is trying in a very public way to convince Mr Zuma, who knows better, that constitutional negotiations are going on very smoothly, with Zanu (PF) now about to consider the draft produced by the negotiating team.
Yet the truth is that Zanu (PF) is only buying time for Mr Zuma to go back to Pretoria and the SADC Summit in Maputo next week to somehow fail to address the issue.
Its Politburo has discussed the draft in three marathon meetings which ended, not in some profound understanding of constitutional principals that best protect the independent republic and its people, but in factional fights about the party's succession programme, or lack of it.
Their conclusion was clearly that we should not have the new constitution which would severely restrict their ability to rig the election through partisan election officials, a biased Press, and partisan police and security forces, but they are waiting for Mr Zuma to go, and the SADC Summit to pass, before they pronounce their rejection of the constitution.
Meanwhile they would like to obfuscate their position and bamboozle Mr Zuma with diplomatic statements about "further negotiations" leading to an All Stakeholders’ Conference.
Mr Zuma has refused to come to Harare all these months simply because it was clear to him that no progress was being made on the ground; he had hoped that some progress would have been made before the SADC Summit at the weekend, but he has realised that there is need to bang some heads together, otherwise the SADC Summit would again have nothing to report
The crucial issues have not changed. We hope Mr Zuma will remain principled and tell Zanu (PF) that it cannot hold the nation to ransom over its own lack of a succession programme.
Neither party liked all aspects of the draft constitution, which is why it has taken so long to negotiate, with all parties fully consulting with their principals, leading to the current draft, which was initialled on every page by the Zanu (PF) negotiators.
But Zanu (PF) is not asking to simply polish it up, but to fundamentally re-negotiate it, again.
The other two parties have said if Zanu (PF) still has issues it should tell its representatives to the All-Stakeholders Conference to raise those issues for discussion by their representatives of the people.
This is the only position that makes sense, and Charamba's call for other political parties to be patient with Zanu (PF) should be rejected, as should his assertion that the the forthcoming SADC Summit should not put pressure on anyone.
The summit IS a deadline for Harare to show that it still respects SADC and is trying to live up to the agreement it signed in front of SADC and AU heads of states in 2009.
The only picture that Zimbabwe is presenting on the ground is one of chaos and a dysfunctional government running on misinformation.
The Herald also reported its opinion that it seemed that President Zuma's advisor, Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim "appears to have bought the MDC’s claim that the draft is a final document that only awaits an All Stakeholders’ Conference and a referendum."
Meanwhile, while continuing to abuse the state media which reaches provides 90% of the national coverage, Information Webster Shamu, declared independent radio stations as "enemies" of Zimbabwe. The are that are however continuing to become popular because they tell the truth.
Shamu said this in the context of baptising AB Communications as a new broadcaster in Zimbabwe. The Global Political Agreement called for media plurality to be established through the licensing of alternative radio stations, but Shamu decided to licence AB Communications, established by Zanu (PF) operative Supa Mandiwanzira, known for his part in a Zanu (PF) sting operation against Anglican Archbishop Pius Ncube, and fired from Al Jazeera for biased reporting in support of Zanu (PF).
Diaspora-based news-people are unlikely to heed Shamu's call for them to come back home until they have seen a free environment for broadcasting and reporting, and a free political environment with rule of law and freedom of expression.