Government is committed to the decentralisation of services and functions in line with its policy on devolution meant to improve efficiency and bring development to every part of the country, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said yesterday.
Minister Mutsvangwa said this during a tour of ZBC Montrose Studios in Bulawayo to familiarise herself with the operations, as well as meet members of staff.
She was accompanied by the permanent secretary in the ministry Mr Nick Mangwana and ZBC board members.
ZBC chief executive officer Mr Patrick Mavhura and Montrose head of station Mr Conwell Mujuru took the minister’s delegation around, explaining the operations.
“When Montrose was established, the plan was to decentralise broadcasting services from Pockets Hill,” said Minister Mutsvangwa after touring the studios. “As Government, we’re pleased that this move was not only a once off great success, but we continue to see benefit for the people of Zimbabwe through this initiative.
“This is a move which today falls in line with Government’s policy on devolution and decentralisation of services and Government functions.”
“It’s from Montrose Studios that we first witnessed the inclusion of formerly marginalised languages on television,” she said. “In 2016, it is at this place that the Montrose bulletins were launched with a total of four local languages, namely Nambya, Sotho, Tonga and Venda.
“A few months later in early 2017, the same out-station went on to launch five more local languages, namely Chewa, Ndau, Kalanga, Shangani and Xhosa. It’s Montrose Studios that gave every Zimbabwean the opportunity to claim their own space on national television.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said Montrose Studios served an overwhelming need and carried a responsibility of great magnitude.
“The task at hand, therefore, demands utmost level of professionalism and great quality productions to meet the region’s standards and audience expectations,” she said.
“As Government, we’re ready to play our part so that we can complement all these efforts in line with the vision of our leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, for Zimbabwe to be an upper middle (income) economy by the year 2030.”
“Our President has declared that our country is open for business and this is the message that should be portrayed across the board,” she said.
“It is up to you to use your creativity and develop programming that mirrors who we are. A beautiful country with beautiful people.”
Government, said Minister Mutsvangwa, was pushing for the digitisation agenda with confidence that the country would soon manage to procure all the required digital transmitters and set-top boxes for complete implementation.
“The ZBC has iconic value and stature in this nation,” she said. “As we open the air waves, competition will come and we want ZBC to be ready for that change in the media landscape.
“With digitisation in full swing, our challenge to Montrose is to have the out-station begin to work towards the establishment of its own television channels from this end.”