Muswere and Russian envoy discuss expediting cooperation in media sector

Harare (New Ziana)-Cooperation agreements signed recently between Zimbabwean and Russian institutions must be implemented as a matter of urgency, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting services Minister Jenfan Muswere said on Monday.

Speaking to journalists after a closed-door meeting with Russian ambassador to Zimbabwe Nikolai Krasilnikov, Muswere said it is high time cooperation agreements are put to good use for the benefit of the two countries.

“The discussions centred around how best we can accelerate the implementation of a number of MOUs (Memorandum of Understanding) that have been signed between Russia and Zimbabwe in terms of how best we can collaborate, how we can cooperate and how we can also build capacity in terms of information publicity and media broadcasting services and how best our respective countries can deepen and consolidate the relationship which is historic.

“The focus now is in terms of the National Development Strategy 1 in that what we now seek to do is the acceleration of a number of MOUs that we signed,” he said.

He added: “And our Ministry’s focus is in terms of how best we can share experiences; how best we can learn from each other as respective sovereign countries and how best we can also be in a position to do a number of exchange programmes for us to be able to have a robust, media broadcasting services industry that is very viable.”

Krasilnikov concurred with Muswere on the need to implement the cooperation agreements for the mutual benefit of the two friendly countries.

“I assured him about Russia’s eagerness to work further with his Ministry towards a mutually beneficial partnership in order to get tangible results from the number of documents that our countries signed recently,” he said.

“We have an MOU between the Ministry and the Russia Ministry of Digital Information and multimedia and communication, an MOU for exchange of experience and joint projects as well as an MOU between Tass news agency and New Ziana,” he said.

Meanwhile, Muswere toured Zimpapers, the largest diversified media company in the country where he stressed the need for the local media to amplify the government’s achievements through positive coverage.

Muswere, who was appointed Information Minister in the cabinet that President Emmerson Mnangagwa recently unveiled following his re-election in the August 23 harmonised elections, is touring media houses to familiarise and hear the challenges that they are facing and the successes they are making.

So far, he has also toured public broadcaster, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Cooperation and 3KTV.

“Media houses have a key role to play in terms of national development, in terms of ensuring that we positively articulate the country’s growth. We have positive achievements under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, a lot of good stories to tell about Zimbabwe. We have stories of triumph against Western hegemony. We have a lot to do in terms of retelling Zimbabwean stories,” he said.

He also underscored the need for media houses to invest in digital equipment and the possibility of sharing infrastructure like what some mobile telecommunication companies are doing.

“There is a need for us to be able to work together seamlessly with the ICT Ministry as we journey towards an informed upper middle-income society by 2023. There is a need to share infrastructure and to utilise a lot of ICT equipment for us to build a robust media industry,” he said.

New Ziana

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