Ministry of Information Highlights Achievements and Media Reforms in Response to Presidential State of the Nation Address


Parliament of Zimbabwe

The Deputy Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Hon. K. Paradza, today responded to the Presidential State of the Nation Address (SONA). During his speech, the deputy minister highlighted the achievements and ongoing reforms undertaken by the Ministry of Information to transform the media landscape in Zimbabwe.

According to Minister Paradza, the department has made significant progress in aligning the legal and regulatory framework with the provisions of the Constitution. One notable accomplishment is the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and its replacement with the Freedom of Information Act, which came into effect in July 2020. This new act emphasizes the right to access information in accordance with the Constitution.

Furthermore, the Zimbabwe Media Commission Act, enacted in April 2021, operationalized the Zimbabwe Media Commission, consolidating media reforms and creating an enabling environment for the media sector. The Ministry is currently working on a Media Practitioners Draft Bill that aims to enhance co-regulation, ensuring greater accountability and professionalism within the media industry.

Another crucial development is the amendment of the Broadcasting Services Act, which will foster business growth and attract investment in the media sector. By freeing up the airwaves and allowing more players to operate, the broadcasting sector will benefit overall. To date, numerous community radio stations, campus radio stations, and national free-to-air television stations have been licensed, totaling 32 radio stations in Zimbabwe.

The Ministry’s commitment to providing universal access to information for all citizens is evident in its efforts to ensure that all communities and languages in the country have a voice. Community radio stations, apart from providing entertainment, serve as vital sources of information during natural disasters and emergencies. For instance, Chimanimani FM, established with the assistance of development partners, acts as part of early warning systems for disasters such as cyclones, potentially saving lives and property.

Campus radio stations play a significant role in training mass communication students, providing them with practical broadcasting skills, and preparing them for future careers. These stations also promote emerging musical trends and offer exposure to new and emerging artists, nurturing music talents. Additionally, campus radio stations deliver life skills and educational information to tertiary students.

The introduction of new players in the broadcasting industry, including the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) and Azam Media Pvt Ltd, has led to healthy competition, improved content, and lower prices for citizens. The Ministry’s call center, established during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, has now become a national communication center, ensuring citizens have reliable access to information in their preferred language.

To enhance access to information and local content, the Ministry initiated the Zimbabwe Digital Terrestrial Television Migration Project (DTT). Although the project is not yet complete, citizens are already enjoying its benefits. The distribution of Set-Top Boxes (STBs) at a subsidized cost has improved information access and enabled citizens to enjoy local content and productions.

Despite economic challenges impacting media operations, the Ministry remains committed to addressing the changing media landscape. Efforts are underway to regulate the media sector effectively and address issues related to false information, lack of professionalism, and ethical conduct. The Media Practitioners Bill, currently being drafted, will provide a framework for the registration and accreditation of media services and practitioners, ensuring accountability and professionalism.

As the country approaches the forthcoming 2023 Harmonized Elections, the media is expected to play a critical role in creating a conducive environment for holding free and credible elections. The Ministry recognizes the importance of media regulation and governance, aiming to prevent misinformation, disinformation, and unethical reporting during the electoral process.



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