Columbus Mabika and Vongai Chinjeke
Zimbabwe and Tanzanian yesterday pledged media collaboration that will enhance the publishing of the rich history that exist between the two nations dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.
Tanzanian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Professor Emmanuel Mbennah who was paying a courtesy call on Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the media can be used to advance developmental aspirations of the two nations.
Prof Mbennah, a media expert, last week toured The Herald, The Sunday Mail and Zimpapers Television Network (ZTN) at Herald House in Harare.
“We have had a good meeting with the Minister. I expressed my gratitude for the time that was made possible for us to meet. The main issue under discussion was how we can enhance collaboration between our two countries through media cooperation because Tanzania and Zimbabwe have a very rich history of friendship in working together for the independence of this country and continue to work together in areas of interest.
“That history needs to be known and the media can play a key role in that. These countries have opportunities for trade, industry and investment. The two countries are rich in history and cultures, we have Swahili that we can advance here through the media and we thought the collaboration and working together through the media here and in Tanzania,” said Prof Mbennah.
He said the true African story will only be told by Africans themselves, hence the call for continental and regional media collaboration.
“There is no need for Zimbabweans to read news about Tanzania through media houses outside the continent all the same people in Tanzania reading news on Zimbabwe from sources outside the continent yet we have media houses that can exchange news and collaborate for the advancement of positive publicity about this resourceful continent,” he said.
He called on local media practitioners to visit Tanzania in December when the country will be celebrating 60 years of independence.
Minister Mutsvangwa said it was worth noting that Tanzania had developed its media industry to more than 20 television stations since gaining independence.
She said Zimbabwe under the second Republic had taken a leaf from Tanzania’s media development.
“On to the media, Tanzania has done extremely well. I had an opportunity to visit Dodoma, Arusha and am impressed to see that whilst Zimbabwe started television in the early 1960, Tanzania came on board later, but as I speak right now they have got more than 20 channels in Tanzania and I am happy to say at least now Zimbabwe has moved under the Second Republic to license six commercial televisions, 14 community radios and also seven campus radios,” Minister Mutsvangwa said.
She said the Government was taking an all-inclusive stakeholder approach to media development.
She said just like Tanzania, Zimbabwe has since 2015 undertaken a digitalisation programme and was undergoing a learning curve./
“We have a lot that we can learn and also they had gone ahead of us talking about digitalisation.
“You know that Zimbabwe started this project in 2015 and we have not finished it.
“It has not come to finality, we are seven years behind and Tanzania has moved very well with digitalisation so they are a lot we can learn from them and a visit to Tanzania will benefit a lot to the ministry and the media,” she said.