Nyaradzo donates to journalists Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa receives personal protective equipment (PPE) for journalists from Nyaradzo Group ceo Philip Mataranyika while Information Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Nick Mangwana looks on at Munhumutapa Offices in Harare yesterday. (Story on Page 2) — Picture: Tawanda Mudimu

Victor Maphosa

Herald Reporter

NYARADZO Group yesterday donated personal protective equipment (ppe) to the media fraternity, a gesture aimed at protecting journalists from the scourge of Covid-19.

The media, like any other fraternity has not been spared from the deadly pandemic, with the first person to be killed by the virus last year being a media practitioner.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic and subsequent introduction of various measures to curb the spread of the virus in Zimbabwe, the media has been designated as an essential service provider during the ongoing lockdown period, hence the need for the practitioners to have PPE. The donation was handed over to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa yesterday at her offices in Harare.

She commended Nyaradzo Group for the donation, saying such initiatives supports Government efforts in combating the spread of the deadly pandemic.

She added that Covid-19 has directly affected each and every one of us, since the nation began recording cases early last year.

“Even before we had recorded cases, His Excellency, President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa declared Covid-19 as a national disaster, as this would help Zimbabwe to mobilise resources to fight the pandemic. I am pleased to report that Zimbabweans, the corporate world, donors and development partners heeded the President’s call and rallied behind Government’s Covid-19 Response and Action Plan.

“The fight against Covid-19 is a collective effort as we have had to be each other’s keeper so that no Zimbabwean is left behind. As a member of the National Task Force on Covid-19, I have witnessed extraordinary cooperation and collaboration between Government and business in the past year fighting the coronavirus. It has been Zimbabwe Incorporated at its best effort and finest element.

“Today, as the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, we are hosting the Nyaradzo Group as they donate a wide range of PPE to the media fraternity. I would like to acknowledge and commend the Nyaradzo Group for their contribution to the fight against Covid-19. This support of Government’s policy of pulling national effort and resources is a testament of the value the Group places on the spirit of Ubuntu.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said the media plays a crucial role in the fight against Covid-19 and it has been designated as an essential service.

“These men and women are providing vital information to our nation about Covid-19. The rapid dissemination of topics and information related to Covid-19 has affected and influenced the behaviour of the public during the pandemic. The media has been working tirelessly to promote reliable information and combat misinformation that is usually spread via social media by some unscrupulous individuals. Issues of safety and protection of the media against Covid-19 during the course of their work cannot be taken lightly. As the media fraternity, we were one of the first communities in Zimbabwe to experience the heavy blow of Covid-19 when we lost one of our young journalists, Zororo Makamba.

“We have suffered several losses since then with the profession losing invaluable and irreplaceable experience and talent. We have lost information heroes and heroines among them Charles Kawadza, Foster Dongozi and Janet Munyaka.”

She said the donation of these PPE is yet another example of Nyaradzo Group’s commitment to partner the Government in the fight against Covid-19. The minister went on to say such partnerships are the hallmark of the ideals and thrust of the Second Republic, which emphasize on transformational development.

“Furthermore, by supporting our journalists you are playing a part in ensuring that the nation has access to information. His Excellency the President, Cde Mnangagwa extolled the crucial role of Public-Private Partnerships as a cornerstone of our epic fight against the ravaging and ruinous pandemic.

“He was speaking as he announced the relief-filled news of the procurement and rollout of vaccines to the populace. We need that to save lives and rescue the economy from debilitating lockdowns. As I welcome this gesture of Nyaradzo Group, I call on other corporates to dig deeper and do even more for our journalists. The war is still on. It is surely winnable as the spirit of Zimbabwe to conquer is even stronger.”

Nyaradzo Group Head of Strategy and Corporation Affairs Mr Batsirai Simango said the gesture is meant to assist members of the media as they execute their duties during the Covid-19 era

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