THE media has been challenged to ensure that Zimbabweans are informed of Government programmes and projects in order to enable the public to actively participate in developmental initiatives.
Speaking during a visit to Zimpapers’ Bulawayo Digital and Publishing Division yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa praised publications under the stable for promoting development and effectively communicating Government’s devolution and decentralisation initiatives.
“The Second Republic has a very clear policy of devolution and decentralisation of our programmes and activities,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“We want our people to be active and participate in all economic activities in our country right down to the districts, the grassroots and rural communities.
“All this points to the strategic role that you play in communicating Government programmes.
“I must say you are doing a good job.
“The Minister said devolution is set to transform the lives of Zimbabweans living in previously marginalised regions.
She said the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development is already releasing funds to finance developmental projects under the devolution programme.
“The devolution programme is in our view, a game changer. This should be kept on top. I know that as soon as he got into his position, the Minister of Finance (and Economic Development, Prof Mthuli Ncube) looked at the issues of devolution.
“Monies have been sent (to all provinces) and there are capital projects that have been done.
“Government was impressed by Zimpapers’ resilience in the face of operational challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, said Minister Mutsvangwa.
She said the safety of journalists was important and their welfare requires continuous improvement. We want journalists to be safe and continue to play your role of entertaining, educating and informing our people.
“Your welfare is very important; it is something that is close to our heart. We would like to see continuous improvement in that regard.
“I am happy that despite the challenges, Zimpapers was able to innovate and find ways of publishing their newspapers.
“This means no job was lost and Government is happy about it.
“So continue innovating and also finding new ways of reaching your audiences. This year particularly is challenging, we continue to see the cloud of Covid-19 casting a shadow over us. I am happy that in spite of those challenges you continued publishing. It shows that your management skills are quite high there.”
Minister Mutsvangwa also toured the Zimpapers Commercial Printing Division in the country’s second largest city.