By ZBC Reporter
THE second republic continues to enhance access to information through various initiatives including creating an enabling environment, licensing more players and supporting players in the media industry.
As Zimbabwe joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day for Universal Access to Information, the government has pledged to deliver an efficient national communication system anchored on enhanced access to information in all parts of the country.
The selection of Chimanimani as the venue for the commemorations was not by coincidence, with the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa noting that the Cyclone Idai disaster which left a trail of destruction in the district calls for a robust communication system.
This comes after the setting up of a radio station in Chimanimani, and the availing of equipment for the station this Monday.
“The natural disaster ravaged Chimanimani and left scars both physical and emotional that continue to haunt our people to this day. It calls for an efficient national communication system to best manage the negative and mist deleterious effects of such natural disasters.
“The availability of community radio in this part of the country will go a long way in enhancing early warning systems against destructive Natural Phenomena. In the past 12 months government repealed AIPPA and enacted the Freedom of Information Act in July and the Zimbabwe Media Commission Act in October last year.
“To date, the second republic led by President Mnangagwa has issued 6 TV licences, 10 commercial Radio Stations, 14 community radio stations and 7 campus radio stations,” Senator Monica Mutsvangwa.
The government’s commitment towards universal access to information is also in line with the quest to achieve a digital economy.
“These initiatives are testimony to the visionary leadership of President Mnangagwa who identified a digital economy as critical to the attainment of vision 2030. The radio station is very important especially to Chimanimani that was affected by Cyclone Idai and are still impacted by the after-effects of the disaster.
“We are working on supporting enabling infrastructure to ensure access to information in rural areas. We are also putting in place base stations and information centres,” said Dr Jenfan Muswere, the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services.
Various stakeholders spoke on the strides and importance of improving access to information in Chimanimani.
The commemorations saw several schools being given laptops and desktop computers to promote the e-learning programme.