Zimbabwe: 'Govt Eager to Improve Access to Information'

14 October 2021

THE GOVERNMENT is eager to finalise the digitalisation programme to ensure improved access to information for citizens, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said this yesterday in her keynote address during her ministry's annual strategic workshop in Nyanga.

Minister Mutsvangwa said: "The ministry will continue to plead with Treasury for funding of the digitalisation project to ensure that Zimbabweans enjoy the fruits of digitalisation. The availability of set top boxes remains a serious challenge for the uptake of digital services.

"I encourage the business community to explore this opportunity to supply the set top boxes to millions of Zimbabweans who would want to enjoy these upcoming television stations," said Minister Mutsvangwa.

She stressed Government's commitment to ensuring diversity of information for members of the public as evidenced by the licensing of six television stations set to air by December 2022 through the digital platform.

"My ministry continues to make strides in making sure that there is universal access to broadcasting services in view of Government's policy of opening up the airwaves.

"The Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) has managed to license six new television stations that are expected to be on air by December 2022. This will certainly give diversity of information to the members of the public," she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa also urged officials at the strategic workshop to come up with resolutions that are in tandem with President Mnangagwa's vision of attaining a middle income economy by 2030.

In his closing remarks during the same function, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister, Cde Kindness Paradza exhorted officials in the ministry to do away with tendencies that promote bureaucracy.

"Gone are the days of unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy and our ministry should not be associated with such. The world we live in today and emerging new threats such as disinformation and atrocity propaganda on social media requires us to be proactive and strategic in the execution of our mandate.

"I cannot emphasize enough the need to ensure that we meet our target of the 100-day projects.

"These projects are not the minister's or mine. We each have a role to play to bring them to fruition on time," he said.

The workshop was attended by representatives from the ministry, Zimpapers and parastatals.

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