By Talent Hwari
Journalists from Zimpapers won all the awards which were meant for three winners in the inaugural HIV and Aids reporting awards held by the National AIDS Council (NAC) on Tuesday.
The NAC media awards, that were introduced this year to reward individual journalists in both print and electronic media, who accurately and regularly report on HIV and AIDS, were all scooped by the Zimpapers journalists.
In a category of individual journalists who were nominated for wide coverage of HIV and AIDS, Sharon Kavhu from the Southern Times was the first winner and received a trophy, a certificate and a sponsorship to attend an HIV conference in France for five days.
Southern Times is a joint venture between Zimpapers and New Era Publications of Namibia.
Tinomuda Chakanyuka from Sunday News was second and received a trophy, a certificate and sponsorship to attend a workshop in Cote D’ Ivoire for five days.
Mirirai Nsingo from H-Metro, who came third, walked away with a certificate, trophy and $850.
In the category of electronic media with wide coverage, ZiFM won a certificate and a trophy for timeous and instant reporting, while Zimpapers came in second position and Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation was third.
Speaking at the event, Health and Child Welfare Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa said journalists who were not able to win should not feel discouraged, but should learn more and report to win the awards next year.
He applauded the media for helping in disseminating strategies on HIV and AIDS prevention.
“I encourage journalists to write more on this disease, to increase its awareness, so that we can achieve our goal to end HIV and AIDS,” he said.
NAC vice board chairperson Ms Beatrice Tonhodzayi-Ngondo said the media played a major role in achieving rapid decline in both HIV incidence and prevalence over the years.
“Our partnership is anchored on the belief that media is one of the critical sectors needed to bring about an effective multi-sectorial response to HIV,” she said.
“These awards are, therefore, a statement of commitment by NAC to recognise individual journalists and media houses that go an extra mile in unravelling the intricacies of HIV and AIDS and its various socio-economic linkages.”
The event was also graced by entertainers Albert Nyathi and Dereck Mpofu.