The Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa has commended the media for playing a pivotal role in the dissemination of information on Covid-19.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the media had kept the nation abreast on national and global developments.
“As a Ministry, we are pleased with the level of coverage accorded to the Covid-19 pandemic by all media practitioners in the country.
“We are also grateful that journalists have come in their numbers to cover our weekly Post-Cabinet Media Briefings, which of late have been largely dominated by issues concerning the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
However, Minister Mutsvangwa admonished media houses that were in the habit of publishing fake news on the global pandemic thereby causing unnecessary alarm.
“Nevertheless, we regret a few instances in which some media houses reported fake news about Covid-19.
“It is irresponsible and unacceptable for journalists to report on unverified Covid-19 cases in the country without engaging the Ministry of Health and Child Care to get the correct facts.”
She expressed gratitude to journalists for attending media briefings.
“So far we are pleased with the reports generated from the briefs by the media. We urge the media to continue covering the media briefs on Covid-19 as they update the nation on latest developments concerning the pandemic.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said Government had made progressive efforts to educate rural areas on Covid-19 as well as keeping them reliably informed and updated through the distribution of literature.
She said Government had also engaged traditional and community leaders to get them to educate and raise awareness in their respective jurisdictions
“As a Ministry, we have done a lot to disseminate Covid-19 information to rural areas. In conjunction with several partners, our Ministry and the Ministry of Health and Child Care has printed and distributed a lot of literature to rural areas. These include posters and booklets.
“Government has also engaged traditional and community leaders to apprise them about the pandemic in order to empower them to spread the message to their people,” she said
“At the highest level, President Mnangagwa hosted Chiefs at State House to update them about the pandemic.”
Minister Mutsvangwa urged the media to complement Government by publishing material and initiating programmes that target rural communities to educate them on the pandemic.
“Furthermore, the media could publicise the toll free numbers to the rural communities and partner Government in the provision of preventive materials like hand sanitisers and face masks,” she said.