Media is central to nation building – Minister Mutsvangwa

by | May 3, 2021 | Local News | 0 comments

Pretty Manyewe

Journalists are central to national growth and they should be allowed to work without any constraints, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Minister Mutsvangwa, who has been defined by practitioners as a friend of the profession, made these remarks in her World Press Freedom day speech today.

“Media practitioners in all their diversity are an important cog in nation building and therefore it is important that their ability to carry out this task is not tampered with. The Second Republic continues to ensure that media practitioners operate without harassment or ill-treatment and that they have full access to information they require,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.

Zimbabwe today joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Press Freedom Day which was running under the theme INFORMATION AS A PUBLIC GOOD.

The theme connected with the efforts that the Second Republic has been making to improve the media environment through a raft of critical reforms.

“Under the Second Republic, Zimbabwe has created an operating environment that will ensure that information is treated as a public good. Highlights of the Government’s efforts towards ensuring press freedom include the passage of several Bills into laws and opening up airwaves for both television and radio broadcasts,” she said.

“In July 2020, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) was repealed and replaced with the Freedom of Information Act which heralded a new chapter in the country’s media landscape in as far as transparency and access to information is concerned.

“In April 2021, the Zimbabwe Media Commission Act came into full effect and has been hailed by stakeholders such as MISA for being progressive and providing a wide definition of media which includes the dissemination of information through the internet and any other electronic means,” added Minister Mutsvangwa.

Under President Mnangagwa, the media environment has improved immensely with the most notable change being the dismantling of the ZBC monopoly.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe granted licences to six private television stations and six language based community radio stations in November 2020 as a way of further opening up airwaves.

These developments are an expression of the Second Republic’s tolerance for different voices and views from media practitioners.