The Zimbabwe Information and Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) is a step in the right direction for the development of Zimbabwe’s media sector, says Panos Institute Southern Africa (PSAf) Executive Director Lilian Kiefer.
Speaking after meeting with members of IMPI in Lusaka on 20 August, Ms. Kiefer said the panel’s consultations were an opportunity for different stakeholders to contribute to a strong and vibrant Zimbabwean media sector. The meeting was part of the panel’s regional study tour covering Zambia, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.
“As PSAf, we appreciate this opportunity to input into the ongoing consultations which we hope will go a long way to improve the state of the media in Zimbabwe,” said Ms. Kiefer.
“The work of the panel is very much in line with our strategic efforts to support the development
of a strong and vibrant media sector in Southern Africa. We believe that through these ongoing consultations with different stakeholders, the panel will generate quality evidence that will inform efforts to strengthen Zimbabwe’s media sector. As a regional communication for development organisation, we believe that a strong media sector is critical for overcoming the various challenges currently affecting Zimbabwe. We believe that when people have access to development information, it is easier for them to participate in development processes.”
The IMPI study comes at a time PSAf is preparing to roll out media empowerment activities in Zimbabwe under the Radio Platform for Community Participation Project.
“This study has also come in at the right time for us as an organisation, as we are currently preparing to roll out activities in Zimbabwe under a regional project that also covers the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Zambia. There is a lot that the media in Zimbabwe can do to create platforms for debate on sustainable development in the country,” added Ms. Kiefer.
PSAf was represented at the meeting by Executive Director Ms. Lilian Kiefer, Regional Manager for Communication and Knowledge Management Mr. Vusumuzi Sifile and Regional Programme Manager for Health and Development, Ms. Mamoletsane Khati. Also present was the Coordinator of the Zambia Community Media Forum, Ms. Katendi Wandi. The IMPI team comprised the panel’s Chairperson Geoff Nyarota, Dr Nhamo Mhiripiri, gospel singer Fungisai Zvakavapano Mashavave, journalist Gift Mambipiri and a representative of the secretariat.
Zimbabwe’s Information Minister Prof. Jonathan Moyo instituted the 25-member IMPI in December 2013 to look into various issues affecting the operations of the media industry. After their inquiries, the panel is expected to propose recommendations for improving Zimbabwe’s media sector.
Ms. Kiefer encouraged all stakeholders to play their role to ensure successful completion of the panel’s assignment.
“PSAf looks forward to the panel’s final report, which we hope will make recommendations to enable all of us interested in the development of Zimbabwe’s media sector to play a role. It is our hope that the panel’s report would not be confined to the shelves at some offices, but would be made available to all interested stakeholders so that we can all support the development of the media in Zimbabwe,” added Ms. Kiefer.