Me­dia key in fight against cor­rup­tion Min­is­ter ... urged to be candid, pro­fes­sional

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion, Pub­lic­ity and Broad­cast­ing Ser­vices, Cde Mon­ica Mutsvangwa, has said the me­dia needs to adopt a fear­less and ob­jec­tive po­si­tion when re­port­ing on cor­rup­tion.

This, she added, would help Govern­ment to deal with cor­rup­tion which has be­come a ma­jor prob­lem in ef­forts to turn around the econ­omy. Cde Mutsvangwa said this while ad­dress­ing a Par­lia­men­tary pre-bud­get sem­i­nar in Bu­l­awayo on Fri­day.

“This is a mam­moth task to project the right im­age of our coun­try; if we are very hon­est to our­selves we must ac­cept that we have done a very good job of mar­ket­ing our beau­ti­ful coun­try and its peo­ple. We have been pro­vided with that demo­cratic space by the Pres­i­dent and it is now time to re­form and build a new econ­omy to a pop­u­la­tion that has suf­fered eco­nomic de­pri­va­tion for a long time. It is crit­i­cal to have ev­ery­body on board,” she said.

She said the me­dia has to cre­ate an en­vi­ron­ment where the mantra “Zim­babwe is open for busi­ness” can bring results and suc­cesses to the econ­omy.

“We are talk­ing to jour­nal­ists and it is crit­i­cal that for us to suc­ceed they should re­port can­didly and pro­fes­sion­ally on eco­nomic is­sues. We have a Govern­ment which has a zero tol­er­ance to cor­rup­tion and for us to win this fight we need a me­dia that is fear­less and ob­jec­tive, we also need dig­i­tal lit­er­acy to pack­age our in­for­ma­tion. Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion will make it easy to ac­cess in­for­ma­tion. It will help us close the gap be­tween the ru­ral and ur­ban pop­u­la­tions,” she said.

She lamented that 95 per­cent of the min­istry’s ve­hi­cle fleet was grounded, a sit­u­a­tion that has af­fected mo­bil­ity of in­for­ma­tion of­fi­cers and com­pro­mised the dis­sem­i­na­tion of in­for­ma­tion es­pe­cially in ru­ral ar­eas. Speak­ing on ex­po­sure of jour­nal­ists, Cde Mutsvangwa said it was time to help jour­nal­ists im­prove on skills and avail more op­por­tu­ni­ties for them.

“We are talk­ing of bench­mark­ing and ex­change pro­grammes for our jour­nal­ists, we need them to re­port from a po­si­tion of ex­po­sure, not in­ward look­ing and so it is crit­i­cal that the min­istry spon­sors and hosts opin­ion driv­ers from the in­ter­na­tional world to help our jour­nal­ists in train­ing be­cause what we need by en­gag­ing with th­ese for­eign me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers is to help im­prove the coun­try’s im­age out there,” she said.

Cde Mutsvangwa said dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion needed to be com­pleted in or­der to bring more play­ers on board.

“We have to work hard to fi­nalise dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and we will soon be is­su­ing li­cences to other play­ers for com­pe­ti­tion pur­poses too, as com­pe­ti­tion is the way to go, open­ing the air­waves is our man­date in this Sec­ond Re­pub­lic and it’s good for the peo­ple. There must be di­ver­sity. We want a lot of con­tent and we can get in­for­ma­tion from the provinces through com­mu­nity ra­dios. We will be do­ing a lot of stake­holder con­sul­ta­tions and con­fer­ences as we can­not make de­ci­sions sit­ting in the of­fices, we need to get in­for­ma­tion from the me­dia prac­ti­tion­ers out there. We have equip­ment that was meant for dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion and was brought in 2015, this is tech­nol­ogy and tech­nol­ogy changes very fast now, and it will be­come ob­so­lete be­fore dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion is even com­plete so we need fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion from the Fi­nance Min­istry.”

Cde Mutsvangwa said the Govern­ment was work­ing to im­prove the wel­fare of jour­nal­ists.

“We are work­ing with var­i­ous me­dia in­sti­tu­tions to en­sure that jour­nal­ism is a worth­while, re­spectable and use­ful pro­fes­sion. The mes­sages they send out build opin­ions so now we need to get rid of des­ti­tu­tion out of the pro­fes­sion. We are work­ing closely to­gether and we are go­ing to come up with a fund to en­sure their wel­fare is im­proved. We will work with every me­dia in­sti­tu­tion across the board,” she said.

Min­is­ter Mon­ica Mutsvangwa

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