Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter
Zimpapers (1980) Limited yesterday confirmed its dominance in the country’s media industry, claiming six accolades in both print and electronic media at the Zimbabwe Top Leadership Excellence Awards.
The company has been dominating media awards and maintaining its Super Brand status for six consecutive years — from 2010 to 2015.
Zimpapers group chief executive Mr Pikirayi Deketeke was rewarded for being the 2015 top business leader for Print and Publishing, while The Herald scooped the Newspaper of the Year and Brand of the Year Award.
Zimpapers radio station Star FM’s general manager Mr Comfort Mbofana was awarded the top leader for Radio and Broadcasting Services industry, with the radio station receiving the 2015 Radio Station of the Year award.
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Zimpapers also landed the Print and Publishing Company of the Year Award.
Some of the entities that received awards included Chitungwiza Central Hospital for being the best in Health and Medical Services, Zimbabwe Agricultural Society, Air Zimbabwe, Steward Bank, Nyaradzo Group and Ransbury Mercedes.
Chitungwiza Central Hospital chief executive Dr Obadiah Moyo, Dr Stephen Margolis of Margolis Holdings, Dr Lance Mambondiyani of Steward Bank, Dr Nick Ohizu of Empowerment School of Wealth and Mr Edmund Makoni of Air Zimbabwe were some of the people who received leadership awards.
Chinhoyi University of Technology, Girls High School, Happy Primary School and Mother Touch also received leadership awards in the education sector.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Mr Deketeke said Zimpapers Group was moving with times and working hard to ensure it met expectations of its various stakeholders in both the print and electronic media.
He said the company controlled 70 percent of the market share in the print media in the daily newspapers.
“There is need to adapt, engage the audience, read the environment, see and create new opportunities to remain relevant in the business,” he said. “We should look at what we have done as an organisation and what we are capable of doing.
“For the past 16 years, Zimbabwe was almost standing still, almost at the cross roads. What role have we played as business? There are some who are beginning to make some things happen and we need to celebrate them.
“We have been focusing on the politicians. Politicians are politicians, they will keep on fighting. But the economy should continue to grow.”
Mr Deketeke said Zimpapers had moved from mono media to multimedia and smart media.
“We want to make sure we communicate with all audiences,” he said. “We are looking at issues that make the newspapers relevant today. We are moving towards issue-based journalism and the issues that make people buy newspapers, which include the economy, crime, education, women empowerment, health and politics.
“This is what we try to portray in our newspapers.
“We have established readers’ panels throughout the country so that we can talk to our readers and find what they want to read in our publications. We get to identify issues of concern to our readers.”
Dr Moyo said although Chitungwiza Central Hospital faced many challenges, it was managing to remain functional because of joint venture partnerships.
“We have had to engage the private sector for partnerships,” he said.
“We have experienced shortages, especially in the radiology department. We have come up with joint venture partnerships with local corporate companies.”
Zimbabwe Leadership Awards chairman Dr Enrico Sibanda said it was important to appreciate good works by community leaders.
He said the awards were presented to leaders with good leadership qualities and they were selected after thorough assessment and research.
Zimpapers, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, is the country’s biggest media company with interests in the printing and publishing industry.
The company publishes three daily newspapers, The Herald, H-Metro and the Chronicle; two national Sunday papers, The Sunday Mail and Sunday News; two national language newspapers, Kwayedza and Umthunywa, the Mutare based Manica Post and Bulawayo based B-Metro.
It also jointly publishes a weekly up market newspaper, Southern Times in partnership with the New Era group of Namibia.
Other publications include magazine titles: ZimTravel and Bridal.
This is in addition to operating Star FM and community radio station Diamond FM which broadcasts in Manicaland.