We remain committed to media liberalisation

We remain committed to media liberalisation
Published: 17 February 2019 (245 Views)
I have great pleasure to address you today (February 14) at the close of the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services' Strategic Planning Workshop.

It is now four days since I opened the workshop imploring you to use the opportunity to explore the means available in our sector and come up with a strategy to guide Government communication.

We had fruitful deliberations and managed to deliver the three outputs that we set out to achieve.

Our ministry today has its 2019 draft Strategic Plan, the draft Ministry Integrated Performance Contract for the Permanent Secretary.

It is now incumbent upon us to reflect on the Strategic Plan for the document's adoption.

Once this document is adopted, that will trigger the formulation and signing of the Permanent Secretary's Contract.

Once the Permanent Secretary has signed the Performance Contract, Directorates and parastatals in the ministry will commence the process of coming up with the Departments Integrated Performance Agreements, the Director's or CEO's Performance Contract, Departmental Work and Performance Monitoring Plans from which individuals will draw their own work plans.

Our Strategic Plan is the master document from which all directorates and all our parastatals should distil their work plan.

We are your stakeholders and expect that you deliver on important components allocated to you in the ministry's Strategic Plan.

I, thus, expect you to review your work plans to see it that they address the ministry's needs and demands.

I also implore you to take the Results-Based Management System as the framework that guides planning and operations.

Two major ministry outcomes have been agreed on — outcomes agreed on its workshop, for example, an "Improved Media Environment" and "Increased Publicity."

Now what this means is that all the ministry operations, programmes and actions should lead to these two outcomes.

In order for these outcomes to be realised, the ministry and our parastatals are expected to come up with ministry and parastatal structures that can effectively discharge their mandates.

We are in the process of reforming our media laws so that they align with the new Constitution.

This will provide an enabling environment, help develop the media industry to attain vibrancy and match international standards and best practices.

Our ministry's mandate promotes a two-way communication (system) between Government and its people through publicity of programmes, all in the name of telling the Zimbabwean story in a manner that builds a good national image for domestic and international competitiveness.

Delegates, it is important that we fully appreciate the importance of information at this juncture in the 5000-year history of modern human civilisation.

We are on the cusp of a major information revolution, where technology is still poised to deliver all types of data at literally mind-boggling speeds.

This will entail massive investment in the information structure so as to help the nation keep abreast with global competitiveness.

This means information technology is now crucial for even our survival as a nation.

It is our duty as a ministry and all stakeholders gathered here to raise the national consciousness to the imminent bold new information era.

To attain all this funding capacity, we need an optimal investment climate.

That is why President ED Mnangagwa has adopted the "Vision 2030" and the "Open for Business" mantra.

The reforms which we are taking need to be seen as a quest to enhance our attributes to attract international private capital.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Comrades and Friends, it is one thing to formulate a strategy and another to implement it.

Often we have heard of strategies that die a natural death soon after adoption.

The document is put on the shelf, where it will gather dust for one year, only to be dusted again come the next planning workshop in the following year.

This is not what we want. As a ministry, we need to work very hard so that we deliver on our targets in a manner that makes us achieve the desired outcomes.

That way we can truly say, yes, we have achieved.

We now have a Government Communication Plan, a draft National Media Policy that includes Social Media Policy, a draft Film Policy, a working website and an e-Governance system that ensures efficient delivery of service to the citizens, among other short-term deliverables.

Our ministry has an overarching communication role. It should use that strategic position to harmonise Government's message and the articulation of its direction.

In addition, our ministry commits itself to ensure that the Zimbabwe Digitalisation project is concluded, as it will go a long way in creating an enabling media environment, which is one of the ministry's outcomes in the Strategic Plan.

We remain committed to the liberalisation of the media, opening of our airwaves and inculcating an enabling environment for every journalist to conduct their trade.

As a woman and a mother, I will do everything in my power to ensure our newsrooms are cleaned of all sexual exploitation and other forms of gender-based abuses.

Seeing that you have all spent so much time for the last four days, let me conclude by saying thank you all for your commitment as we deliberated on the Strategic Plan.

The Plan will go a long way in making sure that we make a lasting impact in the nation and help attain Vision 2030 as called for by the Second Republic.

 

Hon. Monica Mutsvangwa is the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services. She made these remarks at the close of the ministry's Strategic Planning Workshop that was held in the capital on Thursday.

- zimpapers

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