Info critical to Vision 2030: Minister

Source: Info critical to Vision 2030: Minister | The Herald November 17, 2018

Info critical to Vision 2030: Minister
Minister Mutsvangwa

Leonard Ncube in Hwange
INFORMATION, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has said access to information is key to the country’s transformation agenda and the attainment of the vision to have an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

Minister Mutsvangwa said this yesterday during a tour of Kamativi transmission station. She was accompanied by her deputy Cde Energy Mutodi and permanent secretary Mr Nick Mangwana.

Minister Mutsvangwa said she was happy with progress made so far in the digitisation programme. She said access to information was key to the country’s transformation agenda.

Minister Mutsvangwa said they will work to ensure restoration of power in the area as the transmission station was being powered by a generator, which is costly.

“For us to transform, we have to make sure information reaches people and the permanent secretary will be engaging his counterpart in the Ministry of Energy to make sure Zesa works on the issue of electricity because it’s not sustainable to use 2 000 litres a day to run the site with a generator, yet we are serving the people of Zimbabwe,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa implored Treasury to quickly disburse the remaining $104 million needed to complete outstanding work at the station.

“We are very excited,” she said. “This is our first familiarisation tour and we made sure we start in Matabeleland North because the Second Republic stance is that nobody should be left behind and we want everyone to receive information and watch national TV and listen to national radio,” she said.

Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) engineers told the minister that about 60 000 litres of diesel worth $18 000 are required per month to power a generator at the station following theft of copper cables.

The engineers said they has been battling to operate the transmitter for the past five months following the theft of about 5km of copper cables between Kamativi and Cross Dete, which left the whole Kamativi area without power.

Minister Mutsvangwa, who earlier had toured another site in Hwange, said there was need to expedite restoration of electricity in the area as the situation was not sustainable.

She said her ministry would engage the Transport and Infrastructural Development Ministry to rehabilitate roads in the area before the rains started.

BAZ chief executive Engineer Obert Muganyura said they were battling to service the site. He said 18 out of 48 transmitter sites were complete.

“In terms of migration we are on 18 sites out of 48 and five of these have been renewed, including Kamativi,” said Eng Muganyura. “In short, we are on 35 percent completion and our biggest challenge has been disbursement of funds and access to foreign currency.