VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa has hailed the media for exposing corruption saying the scourge must never be rewarded with “impunity, while righteousness is punished with hostile editorials.”
Speaking at the National Journalism and Media Awards in Harare on Thursday night, VP Mnangagwa said it was the responsibility of every Zimbabwean to expose corruption.
“There (exposing corruption) I congratulate you. This is an area where we agree. We all have a responsibility to fight and expose corruption in all sectors of our society in whatever form or fashion it presents itself.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the media, you have an obligation to inform and to educate the reading public while sound, balanced, professional and ethical journalism must be uttermost in your practice. Corruption must never be rewarded with impunity, while righteousness is punished with hostile editorials.
“The era where well-meaning citizens are unduly demonised, simply because they have refused to back up their rectitude by pushing the brown envelope must surely come to an end,” he said.
VP Mnangagwa said the treatment of political stories in the country put the media industry in a bigger dilemma.
He said either way the expectant public suffered, challenging journalists not to abuse their rights which were enshrined in the country’s constitution.
He said Government stood ready and prepared to support the media industry and there were many fiscal concessions, which could be granted to the industry to ensure both ease of doing business and greater viability.
“Duty on media related accessories could be revised downwards, provided you make a case to the relevant ministry. I am aware that many of your members do not have homes of their own. In fact there are instances where some of you get to retirement age without homes of your own.
“Much worse, it makes you vulnerable in your profession. Surely a case must be made to responsible Government Ministry on behalf of your sector,” he said.
VP Mnangagwa implored media practitioners to strive to articulate national policies and aspirations at any given time as enunciated in Zim-Asset.
Zimbabwe Union of Journalists president Michael Chideme said the union was unhappy with the harassment of journalists during assignments by the police.
“Our members are beaten up, have their cameras confiscated and sometimes are unnecessarily detained. Cde Vice President, Zimbabwe is in the process of addressing its image. Journalists are part of that campaign because they churn out information.
“In short we want Government to guarantee our safety as we do our work. An injury to one is an injury to all of us. We work in solidarity,” he said.
VP Mnangagwa said it was not Government policy to harass or beat up journalists saying such police officers should be brought to book. herald