Sharon Kavhu in Windhoek, Namibia
Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa has reaffirmed Government’s commitment to strengthening ties with Namibia.
Minister Mutsvangwa who is in Namibia to engage her counterpart, Stanely Simataa, said the two countries need to consolidate their relations in media and information exchange.
She will meet Minister Simataa today to discuss ways of strengthening the existing cooperation agreeements. Among the topics to be discussed is the review of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for media cooperation that signed between Namibia and Zimbabwe in 2004. The MoU was signed for the two countries to cooperate in areas of broadcasting, print, news, agencies, film making and cultural exchange among others.
Minister Mutsvangwa and her delegation, which included her ministry’s Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana, visited the Namibian Broadcasting Cooperation and NAMPA media stations to exchange ideas.
The delegation was joined by MICT’s Executive Director Mbeuta Ua Ndjarakana, The Southern Times newspaper (Nam-Zim) Vice Chairperson Mr Delma Lupepe, Chief Executive Officer of Zimpapers, who is also a director for Nam-Zim, Mr Pikirai Deketeke and Zimpapers Group Financial director Mr Farai Matanhire who also visited the sites.
Speaking during the visit, Minister Mutsvangwa said Zimbabwe was keen on rejuvenating the existing agreement between the countries.
“We understand that a lot has happened in Zimbabwe and now that we are in our Second Republic, we are here to resuscitate all the MoUs that were done in the past and action those which may not have been operationalised,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
“The mandate that we have from our president is about working together with others and mostly the progressive ones such as Namibia. Namibia and Zimbabwe share a lot of commonalities, we were together in the trenches, there has been some lethargy but we want to resuscitate all those MoU and see how we can make them a win-win situation. If it was energy which was making all those initiative to go down then we are here to inject the energy.” She said her visit is evident that there is a political will to enhance the bilateral relations that exists between the Zimbabwe and Namibia adding that the relations should grow into another level.
Mr Mangwana said media cooperation between the two countries and the rest of other African countries is an essence as it give the continent an opportunity to write its own story.
He said: “The issue of regional thrust in our region in terms of news capturing is essential and as Africans we should be able to read, watch or hear about our own stories within ourselves not being reported by the global media platforms such as CNN and BBC. Why should we hear about things happening in Namibia on CNN and not our own media, why should Namibians watch news on floods in Zimbabwe on CNN and not local media?”
“Our visit is meant to inject energy, fuse and the drive for the implementation of the agreements that have been made between the two countries. We are hoping that next time when we meet, we will not be talking about the same things but reviewing progress. Therefore, we want action from all parties, action from our government, actions from our counterparts here and action from the institutes.”
Despite the several aspects that are encompassed in the 2004 MoU between Namibia and Zimbabwe on media cooperation, so far only The Southern Times (Nam-Zim) is the only project that has come out from the agreement.