Deputy News Editor
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday sent her condolences to the Munyaka family following the death of veteran Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) journalist Janet Munyaka on Saturday.
Munyaka (48), who was the national broadcaster’s Diplomatic Correspondent, succumbed to Covid-19 at St Anne’s Hospital in Harare.
She will be buried today at Glen Forest Memorial Park in line with Covid-19 regulations.
Amai Mnangagwa said in her condolence message that Munyaka stood firm and high in the male dominated journalism industry.
“Owing to historical prejudices and stereotypes, it is not easy for the girl child to break and be established in most professions to the level Janet had reached,” she said.
“Janet is remembered as a veteran journalist, hard worker and one of the female media professionals who managed to serve her country well in the face of challenges that face the girl child. She was a hard working news reporter who was committed to giving a voice to her country.
“Her hard working ethos was a great inspiration to many as she was a role model to the girl child. The media profession puts journalists at the front line in the fight against Covid-19 as they remain obliged to gather and disseminate news and information to the nation in situations that expose them.
“We salute Janet for not faltering in the discharge of her duties even when her own health was in danger from the deadly virus. As a mother, I am deeply touched that she leaves behind a family of four children and a husband.
“May I, on behalf of the First Family and the nation, express my profound and deep condolences to her husband and children, the family, relatives, friends and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation on this sad and painful loss.”
The First Lady urged people not to relax as Covid-19 was still a major threat to everyone.
“We pray that the Lord comforts them (Janet’s family) in these difficult times,” she said.
“Let me once more encourage Zimbabweans to be conscious that Covid-19 remains a threat to the wellbeing of our nation and we should continue to implement the measures that have been set out by Government to contain the pandemic.
“Go well Janet and may your soul rest in eternal peace.”
The First Lady said Munyaka joined ZBC at a time of the fast track land reform programme “whose main objective was the reclamation of land by the majority blacks that had been dispossessed and disenfranchised during the colonial era”.
“The bold move to redistribute land equitably was met with a hostile response by the settlers and the former colonisers that sought to use Zimbabwe as an example that land redistribution to empower dispossessed indigenous citizens was a futile and dangerous exercise,” she said.
“Zimbabwe came under a vicious attack through an unprecedented economic and media onslaught. It took dedicated, patriotic and loyal citizens of the country in the mould of Janet to take it upon themselves to boldly and unashamedly tell the true Zimbabwean narrative.
“Today, Zimbabwe boasts a successful Land Reform Programme and is set to attain an upper middle income society by 2030. It is now incumbent upon all of us Zimbabweans to make the land productive and restore the country’s basket status on the African continent as a way of saying thank you to our heroes and heroines who made personal sacrifice for the good of the country.”
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, which Munyaka interacted with regularly as a diplomatic correspondent, also sent its condolence message to the Munyaka family yesterday.
‘‘The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Honourable Lt. Gen. (Rtd) S. B Moyo, the Deputy Minister, Honourable Dr. D Musabayana, the Secretary, Ambassador J Manzou and the entire staff in the Ministry learnt with shock and sadness of the untimely death of Mrs Janet Munyaka, Diplomatic Correspondent at the ZBC,’’ said the ministry in a statement.
‘‘The Ministry wishes to convey our deep and heartfelt condolences to the Munyaka family, her children and the broadcasting fraternity on this sad and unfortunate loss. May they find solace in that our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.
“Janet Munyaka, a dedicated career journalist, will always be remembered for her contribution towards communicating the Government’s diplomatic efforts.”