First Lady hails Zim, Namibia lead­er­ship

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Love­more Ranga Mataire Harare Bureau

THE First Lady, Dr Grace Mu­gabe, yes­ter­day hailed Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and Namibia’s found­ing Pres­i­dent Dr Sam Nu­joma, for tak­ing de­ci­sive ac­tion in form­ing NamZim News­pa­pers to counter the dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign prop­a­gated by the Western me­dia.

NamZim News­pa­pers is the pub­lisher of The South­ern Times, a re­gional weekly news­pa­per born out of a joint ven­ture be­tween Zim­babwe News­pa­pers (1980) Lim­ited (Zim­pa­pers) and New Era Pub­li­ca­tions Cor­po­ra­tion of Namibia.

In her key­note ad­dress at the highly-sub­scribed one­day NamZim News­pa­pers Em­pow­er­ing and Men­tor­ing Women in Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence in Harare, Dr Mu­gabe said Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe and Dr Nu­joma were the chief ar­chi­tects of the NamZim project. The com­pany also pub­lishes In­side South­ern Africa mag­a­zine.

“In the early 2000s, the two lu­mi­nar­ies took a de­ci­sive ac­tion to counter the dis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign in the re­gion, prop­a­gated by the Voice of Amer­ica and then pre­dom­i­nantly white-owned South African news­pa­pers, the Mail and Guardian and The Sun­day Times,” said Dr Mu­gabe.

She said the re­gional story was grossly dis­torted as the hos­tile me­dia houses were de­ter­mined to un­der­mine the rev­o­lu­tion­ary par­ties of Zanu-PF, Swapo and ANC and their gov­ern­ments.

Dr Mu­gabe said white-owned me­dia houses were bent on re­vers­ing the gains of free­dom and in­de­pen­dence.

“It was against this back­ground that our prin­ci­pled and vi­sion­ary lead­ers came up with the project. To­day, we are pleased to see that NamZim pub­li­ca­tions are at­tract­ing such a wide read­er­ship,” Dr Mu­gabe said.

She said Africa was en­dowed with vast re­sources and growth prospects were abound for women if al­lowed the space to ex­ert enor­mous ben­e­fi­cial in­flu­ence over pol­i­tics, eco­nomics and so­ci­ety in gen­eral.

The First Lady ex­pressed con­cern over the con­tin­ued dis­turb­ing gap be­tween men and women who did not seem to have equal op­por­tu­ni­ties. She said women were vir­tu­ally ab­sent or poorly rep­re­sented in lead­er­ship or eco­nomic de­ci­sion-mak­ing, in­clud­ing the for­mu­la­tion of fi­nan­cial and com­mer­cial poli­cies in most parts of Africa.

Dr Mu­gabe said gov­ern­ments and non-state ac­tors needed to give more at­ten­tion to gen­der main­stream­ing to cor­rect a sit­u­a­tion where women’s pro­duc­tive con­tri­bu­tions were largely ig­nored. She said women were still ham­strung by le­gal and in­sti­tu­tional bar­ri­ers in ac­cess­ing land, nat­u­ral re­sources, cap­i­tal and credit fa­cil­i­ties.

“The Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Hu­man Rights states that ev­ery­one has the right to par­tic­i­pate in govern­ment ac­tiv­i­ties of his or her coun­try. But with­out ed­u­cat­ing women for ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in pol­i­tics, the goal for ac­tive par­tic­i­pa­tion in pol­i­tics, the goal of achiev­ing equal­ity and de­vel­op­ment will re­main unattain­able,” said the First Lady.

The First Lady said it was dis­ap­point­ing that some Western na­tions that pride them­selves as paragons of democ­racy and good govern­ment were yet to sign the Com­mis­sion on the Elim­i­na­tion of all forms of Dis­crim­i­na­tion against Women (CEDAW), which pro­vided the ba­sis for the re­al­i­sa­tion of equal­ity. She, how­ever, said Zim­babwe had made progress in pur­su­ing leg­isla­tive re­forms and mea­sures aimed at gen­der­main­stream­ing. She also com­mended the Zim­bab­wean con­sti­tu­tion as women-friendly which stip­u­lates a re­serve 60 seats for women in Parliament elected through pro­por­tional rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

Dr Mu­gabe said women would con­tinue to push for 50/50 rep­re­sen­ta­tion for all po­lit­i­cal party po­si­tions in pur­suit of pro­mot­ing equal­ity in de­ci­sion mak­ing. The First Lady urged NamZim News­pa­pers to pro­vide spe­cial col­umns ded­i­cated to women’s af­fairs in its pub­li­ca­tions.

Speak­ing at the same oc­ca­sion, Namib­ian Am­bas­sador to Zim­babwe Mrs Bal­bina Daes Pien­aar, com­mended The South­ern Times for be­com­ing the lead­ing re­gional news­pa­per pro­vid­ing news, fea­ture ar­ti­cles, analysis, opin­ion pieces from an African per­spec­tive as well as mar­ket­ing the re­gion’s tourism and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.