Minister Moyo tours Zimpapers
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
INFORMATION, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo, his deputy Cde Supa Mandiwanzira and Permanent secretary Mr George Charamba yesterday toured Zimpapers facilities in Harare to get an appreciation of the group’s operations. They were accompanied by directors in the ministry, Mr Regis Chikowore director rural communications and Rtd Major Anywhere Mutambudzi director urban communications, Zimpapers board members, senior managers and editors.
Zimpapers group chief executive Mr Justin Mutasa and group chief operating officer Mr Pikirayi Deketeke led the tour, explaining operations of some of the company’s machinery to the Government officials.
Prof Moyo first made a stop at StarFM and Natprint along Simon Mazorodze Road.
He then toured The Herald newsroom, H-Metro, Sunday Mail and Kwayedza where he interacted with staff at all levels and commended the facilities as impressive.
The Herald newsroom was recently transformed into a world class work station, with the imposing convergence desk which co-ordinates the flow of news to the company’s digital, radio and print platforms.
Equipped with state-of-the-art computers and new furniture, the newsroom was also fitted with two big television sets.
Prof Moyo said The Herald newsroom was comparable to none in the country.
He also toured the H-Metro, Sunday Mail and Kwayedza newsrooms.
Speaking to board members and the management team after the tour, Prof Moyo said he was impressed by the advances made by Zimpapers in moving with technological changes.
“Zimpapers is the only institution that I think has understood the challenges of the technologies going on,” he said.
“Digital transformation and your appreciation of convergence is self evident. Results are on the table and BH24 is a cutting edge.”
BH24 is a daily digital platform which publishes latest developments in business on a daily basis and has become popular with companies and businesspeople because of its useful updates that are released every afternoon.
Prof Moyo commended Zimpapers for doing an exceptional job during the harmonised elections.
“Zimpapers did the nation proud during the last election which was like the 1980 election,” he said.
“The Herald was splendid. After the launch of our manifesto we did not know how our message was going to reach to the people.
“What we started to see in The Herald was amazing and I would like to thank the board and management for not raising technical challenges like newsprint.”
Prof Moyo said the editorial team was also versatile as it grasped the national task at hand.
He said Zimpapers had a bright future as evidenced by its acquisition of a world class printing press installed at Natprint.
“It is a demonstration of visionary leadership at Zimpapers,” he said.
“What we also see here at The Herald is a well-thought out plan.
“Six months down the line, this place will be different.
“I am going to leave this place with a positive feeling.”
Prof Moyo jokingly said StarFM was an amazing facility such that the next time he would visit in the company of (Tourism and Hospitality Industry) Minister (Walter) Mzembi to declare it a tourist attraction.
He said there were challenges at the company’s Bulawayo branch that needed urgent attention, but said he was impressed with the vision shown by the company’s management at the ministry’s workshop held in Harare recently.
Prof Moyo spoke of the need to revive the New Farmer which he said was essential in telling Zimbabwe’s story on land reform.
He said the land reform story should be treated highly by the local media.
Acting board chairperson Dr Charles Utete said efforts were being made to address the situation at the company’s Bulawayo branch.
“The sorry situation in Bulawayo is a matter for the board to examine,” he said.
“Bulawayo is an area with tremendous potential.”
Mr Mutasa said Zimpapers would do everything in its capacity to maintain standards it had set for itself.
He said the company was striking a balance between the welfare of its employees and retooling of its equipment.
“The general feeling is that the staff is happy. There is harmony,” he said.
Mr Mutasa said there were some dubious proposals from the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists that there should be a national employment council for journalists.
He said Zimpapers was a listed company and was a member of the printing, packaging and newspaper industry and as such was a mixture of various skills that could only be catered for by the present NEC.
Mr Mutasa said the company would reject dubious attempts by ZUJ aimed at causing disharmony in the company.