Jonathan Moyo wants to heal media rift

via Jonathan Moyo wants to heal media rift – DailyNews Live by Xolisani Ncube 12 SEPTEMBER 2013 9:46AM

HARARE – Media, Information and Broadcasting Services minister Jonathan Moyo has moved to allay fears of a media crackdown as he begins his new Cabinet term of office.

Moyo told reporters at State House yesterday soon after taking oath of office that his return to government did not in any way signify “Armageddon” for the media.

He said he was looking to heal the rift.

“I would like to use a word that was so common during the era of the inclusive government, which is, ‘if we can find each other, let us look for one another’,” Moyo said.

“If it means having an indaba with (media) stakeholders to find each other, we will do so.”

He pledged to open up the media industry to new players.

“If you talk about pluralism, yes that is an on-going process as you are aware we already have two more private stations and we will look at increasing that, but also being cognisant of the digitalisation which could open up more space,” he said.

The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has licensed two private radio stations, the Zimpapers-run Star FM and Supa Mandiwanzira’s ZiFM.

Despite constitutional provisions for freedom of expression, officials have displayed an openly hostile attitude towards media freedom, and a draconian legislative framework continues to effectively inhibit the activities of journalists and media outlets.

“We would need to have benchmarks in line with the digitalisation thrust,” Moyo said.

Walter Chidhakwa, the newly-appointed minister for Mines and Mining Development, said he would push for value addition of all minerals before they are exported.

“The country has suffered a lot because of exportation of raw materials,” Chidhakwa said.

“I think it is time we begin to do a lot in terms of value-adding on our minerals so that we earn enough.”

Paul Chimedza, the newly-appointed Health and Child Care deputy minister, said it was high time the well-being of Zimbabweans was taken seriously and promised more infrastructure development in rural clinics.

Joe Biggie Matiza, the new Local Government, Public Works and National Housing deputy minister, said his thrust wouldbe to ensure that there was housing delivery and better services in both rural and urban areas.

Tabeth Kanengoni-Malinga, the new Sport, Arts and Culture deputy minister said she would push to stop piracy in the arts sector so that artistes benefited from their creativity.