Nesia Mhaka Herald Correspondent
The media should report on nation-building instead of issues that polarise society.
This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa in Harare last night, in a speech read on her behalf by the ministry’s Director of Media Services Dr Anyway Mutambudzi at the launch of “Zim Media 21.”
Zim Media 21 is a programme developed by Media Alliance of Zimbabwe (MAZ) to strengthen citizen engagement in marginalised rural and urban communities through innovative media and community platforms.
“Media polarisation, which has been the hallmark of our media industry and inadvertently corrupted the media discourse, has no room in Zimbabwe under the new political dispensation which enjoins all Zimbabweans to work together focusing on developing our nation,” she said.
“We all have a role to play in shaping the destiny of our country. It goes without saying that in any society, the media play an integral role of informing, educating and entertaining, without which citizens cannot participate meaningfully in the development processes.”
She commended the Swedish government for assisting Zimbabwe media by providing funds and technical support.
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government was spearheading media reforms anchored on the need to ensure citizens fully enjoyed their constitutional rights.
The reforms are expected to further grow the media sector, which is expanding in the print, online and broadcast sectors.
The process of licensing 10 community radio stations and six national free-to-air television stations is in motion, with the call for licenses by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) having been issued.
BAZ will also licence campus radio stations to improve communication as well as provide media students with practical broadcasting skills.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the process of repealing the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) is at the penultimate stage.
The Freedom of Information and Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill are now at the second reading in Parliament.
Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe Asa Pehrson said: “The importance of the media in nurturing unity can never be underestimated, especially in the current information age where the majority of people largely depend on mediated information as source of knowledge.”