Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has paid condolences to the family of veteran journalist Foster Dongozi who died at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals on Wednesday evening after a short illness.
Minister Mutsvangwa also paid tribute to Dongozi when she chronicled his journey in the media industry, where he worked for The Standard, The Daily News as well as The Chronicle and described the late journalist as a towering figure in the media industry.
“Foster’s journey in the media sector began when he trained in journalism at the Harare Polytechnic. Over the years, he horned his skills at various institutions across the globe including Cairo, Egypt; Berlin, Germany and Cardiff, Wales, in the United Kingdom,” she said.
The minister said in recognition of his leadership qualities, Dongozi was elected general council member of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU); executive committee member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ); executive member of the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ); and president of ZUJ and later its secretary-general, a post he held till his death.
Minister Mutsvangwa highlighted the patriotic figure played by Dongozi at a time he stood to tell the world the truth of what was transpiring in the country.
“At a time when Zimbabwe was under siege from some Western media houses that were working in cahoots with countries that had been miffed by Zimbabwe’s Land Reform Programme, Foster as president of ZUJ, worked with the then Ministry of Media, Information and Publicity to host the Federation of African Journalists congress in Zimbabwe in 2010.
“The event helped to reveal the true story of Zimbabwe, including the Land Reform Programme, to African media.” She described him as a unifying figure in the media industry whose main focus was Press freedom and the welfare of journalists.
He was one of the first people she met when she was appointed Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, in his capacity as ZUJ secretary-general.
“He seemingly had come to assess if really as the Second Republic, we were serious about media reforms or just paying lip service.
“Out of that first engagement came successive meetings; a new cordial and professional relationship between Government and the media; participation and cooperation in outreach programmes that sought to reform the media sector in Zimbabwe leading to the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) as well as the enactment process of the successor acts.
“On behalf of the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, the Government of Zimbabwe and my family, I express my deep and profound condolences to the Dongozi family, his friends and the media fraternity at large. The loss is not only to his family and friends but to the whole nation. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”