By Professor Matodzi
Harare, September 18, 2013 – Zimbabwean media stakeholders will on Friday meet with Media, Information and Broadcasting Services Minister Jonathan Moyo following his re-appointment to head the crucial portfolio.
Officials from Moyo’s ministry on Wednesday reached out to several media stakeholders including the state-run and privately owned newspapers among them the Daily News and NewsDay and media lobby groups such as the Media Institute of Southern Africa and the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe.
Moyo’s ministry advised the media stakeholders that the meeting scheduled for Friday morning at his Munhumutapa offices in central Harare is aimed at introducing himself to newspaper editors and media freedom activists.
Last week, President Mugabe appointed Moyo to the media, information and broadcasting services portfolio while journalist Supa Mandiwanzira deputises the former legislator.
Media analysts welcomed Moyo’s overtures and challenges him to engage meaningfully with stakeholders.
“It’s a normal process. Any new Minister must meet his portfolio stakeholders. Hopefully the agenda will be one that shares the democratic agenda of free media and ethics. It should also move towards dialogue and engagement,” said one Harare based analyst.
Soon after his appointment as Minister, Moyo moved to allay fears of a media crackdown telling journalists that his tenure won’t be one of “Armageddon” for the media practitioners.
There were fears that Moyo’s return to the media ministry would bring back the harassment and crackdown on journalists which during his tenure reached new heights with the closure and bombing of newspapers and radio stations such as Radio VOP.
However, Moyo pledged to “find each other” and “look for one another” with media practitioners and stakeholders.