Zimbabwe: 'Free Media a Key Pillar'

A free and viable media industry is a key pillar towards the attainment of a middle income economy by 2030, and the Government is fully committed to fulfil this ideal, a Cabinet Minister said yesterday.

Addressing delegates at the Zimbabwe New Media Summit organised by the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) and its partners here yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Government was forging ahead with its drive to reform the country's governance system under its broader democratisation agenda for the benefit of all Zimbabweans.

Despite scepticism, Minister Mutsvangwa, whose presentation topic was: "Media law review: is it new wine in old wine skins for democracy and media in Zimbabwe," said comprehensive transformation was being rolled out by Government and that notable progress had been made in reversing the stagnation experienced during the old dispensation led by former president Mugabe.

"What the new dispensation wants is free and viable press to underpin and propel the vision of a new and prosperous economy, the aim being to attain a middle income status for the Zimbabwean nation," she said.

"My principal, your President, my President and President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde E.D. Mnangagwa means exactly what he says."

Minister Mutsvangwa said the reform agenda spearheaded by President Mnangagwa was inspired by the desire to develop Zimbabwe into a modern democracy.

She noted that an overhaul of legislative provisions was being done after realisation that the past leadership had imposed reactionary laws that served to frustrate freedoms and led to decay and stagnation of the economy against the aspirations of the armed liberation struggle.

Minister Mutsvangwa said far reaching research and consultation were the hallmark of the new dispensation as Government sought to create an inclusive policy framework.

Nust Vice Chancellor, Prof Mqhele Dlodlo, senior university staff, visiting academics, media practitioners, civic society and students attended the event.

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