Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
Government will continue engaging all stakeholders and taking their views on board as it formulates a new media policy in line with the thrust of the new political dispensation and the Second Republic, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said.
She said as part of their ministerial mandate, they were obliged to develop a diverse and plural media industry for Zimbabwe.
Minister Mutsvangwa said this during a Press conference after she met Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) chairman Mr Trevor Ncube at her Munhumutapa Offices yesterday.
“Today we met one of our major publishers and long-time media practitioner Mr Trevor Ncube.
“We thank him and his team for reaching out. As part of our ministerial mandate we are obliged to develop and plural media industry.
“That means embracing everyone including those who we agree with and those we may not agree with. The idea is not to have a pliant media, but the media that is robust and vibrant in its different ways serving the national interest,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa added: “We will continue to engage all stakeholders and listen to their views and take them on board as we formulate the media policy suitable for the new dispensation and the Second Republic.”
She said the ministry was not going to have an “us versus them” attitude to private media, but will treat all players as a relevant Fourth Estate, supporting the mantra: “Zimbabwe is open for business.”
She said “Zimbabwe is open for media business. We are opening the media space and the airwaves for Zimbabwe’s plural views to find channels of outlet. The ministry is going to have an open door policy. As long as your ideas add value to the national interest, everyone will be seen and be heard.
“We are going to facilitate a two-way communication between the Government of Zimbabwe and the citizenry,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
She said every Zimbabwean wanted the information industry to develop standards that make output trusted and genuine.
“We hope these high standards of quality will be sustained.
“Let the media criticise where wrong has happened and let them lead in the celebrations of national culture and national achievements. This ministry wants dynamism in the promotion of people’s rights as well as national sovereignty.
“The ministry will attend to all media enquiries on Government policy and we are going to be a responsive communication arm of Government. If you allow us time we are going to give you the responses you seek because our interests converge on being informative and transparent,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
Mr Ncube applauded the minister for meeting him and his team.
“It’s a pleasure to be here and thank you for the hospitality you have extended to us.
“We can feel that there is new breeze blowing through this building into this ministry. We take to heart all the words that you have shared to us just now.
“We had a fantastic meeting prior to this Press conference and I think the bottom line is that we all have one country to serve, that country is Zimbabwe.
“We might differ on the pace at which things are going, but generally speaking I think we agreed on the direction and the destination where we are all going.
“We want to go to a place where there is prosperity for everybody and the President says it and says it in a manner that is consistent, ‘Jobs, Jobs, Jobs’. Roads being repaired, jobs being created,” he said.
He said they hate being called opposition media as they were a mainstream media that was patriotic and passionate about this country
“We are delighted as private media, independent media. We actually hate the title opposition (media) because we are not opposition.
“We are a mainstream media house that is patriotic, that is passionate about this country and we are going to clear out our role in the reconstruction, development of this nation and we delighted that you have embraced us,” Mr Ncube said.
He said they are also going to create more jobs for journalists and that they also had a role to play in telling the “amazing Zimbabwean story”.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi, permanent secretary Mr Nick Mangwana and the ministry’s senior officials.