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Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors Association treasurer Tapiwa Mungofa addressing the media during a press conference at the Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare on March 26, 2020, where they vowed to boycott work unless the government provides protective gear to combat the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by Jekesai NJIKIZANA / AFP)

Government Complementing Freedom Of Expression & Access To Information – Mutsvangwa

By Clayton Masekesa

THE Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services – Monica Mutsvangwa – has said the Government has licenced community radio stations across the country in its efforts to compliment freedom of expression and access to information.

Addressing participants in a virtual dialogue to launch the My Freedom of Information (MFoI) Campaign recently, Mutsvangwa said two of the newly licensed community radio stations will serve the people of Chipinge and Nyanga.

“We want people in Chipinge or Nyanga to have the same access to information as the people in Harare. Information should be readily available to anyone wherever they are,” she said.

“Not only are we looking at giving them information, but we are also looking at getting information from the communities. We want talent to be identified in these communities,” said Mutsvangwa.

The Minister applauded the new Freedom of Information Act as a comprehensive law that promotes the much-needed freedom of expression and access to information in the country.

Speaking during the meeting, the founder of Tag A Life International, Nyaradzo Mashayamombe, said: “This campaign is designed to promote the Freedom of Information Act so that citizens, especially minorities and journalists, may assert their rights to access to information.”

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe chapter Legal Officer Nompilo Simanje said the Freedom of Information Act will empower journalists.

Minister of Information Media and Broadcasting Services:Monica Mutsvangwa

“This will assist journalists to discharge their duties without their rights being infringed upon. There is need for these campaigns that will help in educating everyone to access information,” said Somanje.

The MFoI Campaign is implemented by a development partner, Tag A Life International, in partnership with the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services and Identities Media.

It is also supported and sponsored by the Fojo Media Institute and the Embassy of Sweden in Zimbabwe.

Thirty journalists from across the country, three from each province, were trained as campaign ambassadors for the campaign.