Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has urged journalists in the country to prioritise patriotism over brown envelopes whenever they do their work.
The Minister made the remarks in Harare yesterday at an interactive meeting with the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC).
Minister Mutsvangwa said: “My job is to make sure that we bring people together. My job is to make sure that each and every journalist who is writing whether on social media, twitter can be a proud Zimbabwean.
“My job is to make sure that we bring all Zimbabweans to be patriotic and not to write stories because there is a brown envelope; not to write stories because one has to make detractors out there happy or other people out there happy.
“The story of Zimbabwe has to be told by Zimbabweans. We need to tell our story. There is a lot which needs to be done to bring everyone together.”
ZMC needed to organise continuous training for the media personnel through the media fund.
“The issue of training our journalists is very important. There is need even for them to benchmark with other countries to see how journalists are trained even in investigative journalism.
“We don’t want journalists who just rely on speeches but investigative journalism is key,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
As a constitutional body, it was very critical for ZMC to be well funded to be able to fully execute its mandate in the media sector.
“The ZMC mandate was expanded by the Freedom of Information Act to include adjudicating citizens’ access to public information. It is my hope that the commission will be fully capacitated given its critical role in the development of the media sector.”
She also emphasised the need for commissioners to be accredited so they could execute their mandate without hindrances.
President Mnangagwa in July appointed members of ZMC which is chaired by Professor Ruby Magosvongwe. The other members are Ms Dumisani Mashingaidze, Mrs Susan Makore, Ms Mirriam Tose Majome, Retired Major Edward Mbewe, Mr Tanaka Muganyi, Dr Phillip Pasirayi, Mr Jasper Maphosa and Mr Aleck Ncube, who were present at the interactive meeting.
Prof Rubby Magosvongwe said the interaction with the Minister had opened doors for them to start engaging with other institutions under her purview. ‘“After the interface with the Minister, we now have the freedom to go and visit Zimpapers and other institutions,” she said.