Minister pledges equal treatment for media

NEWLY appointed Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Jenfan Muswere has pledged to treat both public and private media houses equally without any discrimination as both can play a pivotal role in shaping Zimbabwe’s narrative.

Dr Muswere was reappointed into Cabinet with a new portfolio after serving as the Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services in the previous Cabinet.

In an interview following his swearing in at State House in Harare on Tuesday, Dr Muswere said the media had a crucial role to play in the country’s development agenda as well as shaping the national discourse.

Committing to execute his duties diligently and not discriminate against any media houses as the fraternity shared the same responsibility to unite and inform the people of Zimbabwe, the minister said the attainment of the country’s national vision to become an upper-middle-income society by 2030 was dependent on a well informed general citizenry and the Second Republic would continue to ensure access to information in accordance with the country’s laws.

“With respect to the new portfolio that I have just been reassigned, it speaks mainly to the crosscutting nature of information, media and broadcasting services across all spheres of this economy with respect to the fact that for us to achieve Vision 2030, we need an informed nation. It is to the benefit of us as Zimbabweans to have the right information,” said Dr Muswere.

He added: “At the same time a knowledgeable society is very important in terms of your fundamental rights and access to information, all that is guaranteed in terms of the Constitution. At the same time, we will be focusing on primarily ensuring that we unite the country by utilising all the media houses that we have.

“So we will have that shared responsibility and I also promise that I will be a minister for all media houses both public and private, as long as we are responsible media practitioners.”

The media as an information, educational and entertainment tool, he said, had the joint responsibility to shape the country’s future and image.

“There will be a lot of sharpening in terms of national strategic direction in terms of how the media will be able to contribute to the development of Zimbabwe. Of particular importance is that Zimbabwe comes first as we conduct ourselves but we also have a shared responsibility as public and private media for us to be able to shape the future of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Dr Muswere commended President Mnangagwa for blending all demographics in constituting the just appointed Cabinet.

“The supreme law of Zimbabwe clearly stipulates that the responsibility in terms of appointment of the Cabinet rests with President Mnangagwa so there is no standard on whether it’s small or big. You have seen the Cabinet has merit, professional people and gender balance, it also has more in terms of regional balance.”  

Dr Muswere’s predecessor, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, was reassigned to the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprises.


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