Journalists from various media houses yesterday received personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitisers from the Swedish Embassy in Zimbabwe to protect them from Covid-19.
The embassy donated 8 000 facemasks, 8 000 surgical latex gloves, 100 reusable protective suits and 852 bottles of hand sanitisers worth $25 000.
The PPE, which will be distributed by the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe and the Advertising Media Association, will see 25 media houses including community media outlets, benefiting.
The Herald Editor Hatred Zenenga, who was standing in for Zimpapers chief executive Mr Pikirayi Deketeke, said journalists were vulnerable to Covid-19 as they were also on the frontline, just like health workers.
He said there was need to protect journalists as they discharged their duties.
“Journalists are right there in the thick of things and on the frontline just like medical personnel, mixing, mingling and interacting and this is very dangerous in this environment,” he said.
He acknowledged the assistance by the Swedish Embassy saying it would go a long way in protecting journalists as they discharged their duties.
“We believe that what has happened here will change our lives forever as we fight against this enemy. On behalf of 25 media houses that are going to receive this equipment and fellow journalists, it is my particular honour to thank the Swedish Embassy, Media Institute of Southern Africa, International Media Support and all the other partners including ADMA, for this gesture of supporting journalists at the frontline.
“We hope and trust that it is not the end, but just the beginning,” said Zenenga.
Zimpapers was the first media company to provide PPE for its workers.
MAZ chairperson Mr Thabani Moyo added that while the Zimbabwean media was confronted with the threat of Covid-19, they were also affected by the economic environment in the country.
He urged the Government to assist media institutions, arguing that just like political parties were supported for their role in promoting democracy, media institutions also deserved support for their role in promoting development.