Tendai Mugabe and Melissa Makoto
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Dr Chris Mushohwe has urged Zimbabweans to constructively use social media in furtherance of national development.
He said negative portrayal of the country on social media by its citizens was detrimental, adding that Zimbabwe was keen to learn from Pakistan on how it managed to use social media to advance its national cause.
Dr Mushohwe said this after meeting Pakistan ambassador to Zimbabwe Riaz Bukhari at his Munhumutapa offices yesterday.
He said Harare was also keen to partner Islamabad in the area of education under the Presidential Scholarship Scheme.
Said Dr Mushohwe: “We need our people to understand that they are Zimbabwean. Those are the kind of things that we want to learn from them and how to deal with rampant situations.
“Fortunately, we (Zimbabwe and Pakistan) come from the same background in terms of colonial background, and what we are inheriting here perhaps is remnants of the colonial legacy that is still lingering in our minds and being passed on to our children, especially through the promotion of Western media that our children seem not to understand themselves.
“They see themselves in the images of the West. We want to find out how have they (Pakistan) re-oriented their children and people so that they begin to respect themselves, they begin to have the sense for what is theirs or their democracy, for their independence and national integrity. We want to see in a very short space of time some Memorandum of Understanding on the expression.
“Pakistan is very much ahead of Zimbabwe when it comes to media; that is print as well as electronic media, hence we need our media personnel to go to Pakistan and learn more from them, and we have agreed that the officials from Zimbabwe and Pakistan will discuss on the issue.”
Dr Mushohwe said he acknowledged the flourishing relationship that existed between Zimbabwe and Pakistan dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.
He recalled the warm welcome that President Mugabe received in Pakistan soon after independence, adding that Islamabad was instrumental in setting up the current structure of the Airforce of Zimbabwe.
Said Dr Mushohwe: ‘“We need to partner with them and learn more from them, especially in areas such as cyber crime. Pakistan has already dealt with this nuisance and their media is promoting development and unity in their country.”
Ambassador Bukhari said: “We have enacted cyber laws to exercise control over such misuse of social media.”
He said his country was ready to cooperate with Zimbabwe in various sectors.