Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said the media should not hesitate to execute its watchdog role and expose corruption at all levels if the country is to move forward.
Addressing journalists during a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) awards ceremony in Harare on Wednesday night, Minister Mutsvangwa said President Mnangagwa’s vision of turning Zimbabwe into a middle-income economy by the year 2030 can only be achieved if the media play their part as a critical Government communication tool.
She said journalists should shun bribes and report factually and responsibly if the country is to achieve its goals.
“Nowadays we have this problem of brown envelopes. Instead if exposing corruption, we read some sanitised stories that try to portray even the corrupt in a positive manner.
“Journalists should shun these brown envelopes and expose corruption at all levels. The media must play its part in rebuilding our country. The era of us and them is all over.
“President Mnangagwa has reiterated this and as Government in the Second Republic, we have always said our doors are open, let’s work together in rebuilding our beautiful nation,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said President Mnangagwa has been consistent on his open-door policy to the media, adding that the President’s passionate call that Zimbabwe is open for business can only be heard far and wide if the media play their part.
“The President has reiterated that Zimbabwe is open for business. This can only be embraced if the media help us spread this important information.
“As Government, our doors are open to work with the media. I have always said at my office I have removed the doors. We are thus always open for you the media. We have to work together for the good of this country,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said gone are the days when the Ministry of Information was viewed as an enemy to freedom of expression through implementing repressive laws and was always at loggerheads with unions such as ZUJ.
“Let me reiterate that the days when the minister is at loggerheads with ZUJ are over.
“We want to promote freedom of expression, but the media should report responsibly, factually and truthfully; we want a better Zimbabwe and we can build this together,” she said.
Meanwhile, four reporters from the country’s largest media group, Zimpapers (1980), which was part of the sponsors, scooped awards at the ceremony.
Freedom Mupanedemo of The Herald scooped the Child Reporter of the Year award which was sponsored by Nestle Zimbabwe, while photojournalist Wilson Kakurira scooped the Zimpapers sponsored Multi-media Journalist of the Year award.
Obey Sibanda and Nkosilathi Sibanda, both from the Sunday News, won the Mining Reporter and Local Tourism Reporter of the year awards, respectively.