We publish below the full speech by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Senator Monica Mutsvangwa, during the launch of the ZBC e-licensing platform on 14 July, 2021:
“This initiative comes at a time when Government has been encouraging innovations that make citizens adapt to the new normal faster and safer, as they are protected from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Since March 2020, Zimbabwe like other nations has been fighting this pandemic that has ravaged many nations claiming millions of lives across the globe. For Zimbabwe, the battle against Covid-19 has come at a high cost with the loss of lives, loss of income to many sectors as well as the destabilization of social structures. While the Government has done a lot in procuring the life – saving vaccines, we however find ourselves trapped in the Third Wave with many infections as well as fatalities.
“Despite Zimbabwe’s Covid-19 response being one of the best on the continent as evidenced by fewer deaths and infections as compared with other nations, for the government, a single death is one too many.
“As part of efforts to save the lives of Zimbabweans, only last week, we received a consignment of two million doses of vaccines procured by the Government and more are on their way. I therefore encourage fellow Zimbabweans to get vaccinated so that together we can conquer this enemy As a country, we cannot afford to relax as we fight this pandemic.
“More than ever, we need the National Broadcaster to continue the excellent work of equipping the nation with life-saving information that can help people make informed choices that include being vaccinated.
“But for ZBC to successfully execute this mandate, there is need for it to be adequately capacitated. To be capacitated means getting funding and now more than ever, we all have to evaluate how we do business and see how we can come up with innovations that not only unlock funding but help in creating a safer business environment.
“I am proud of the steps that ZBC is taking to embrace digital technology by beginning the migration of its business operations to online platforms. It shows that the national broadcaster is aware of the role that it plays in keeping Zimbabweans safe.
“Government is committed to safeguarding its citizens and has put in place various measures to promote safety and guard against the spread of COVID-19. It is the responsibility of all businesses to ensure that they also play their part in protecting their employees and customers.
“By developing the E-Licensing platform, ZBC is supporting government efforts to keep the nation safe from Covid-19. ZBC has responded to Government’s call to reduce unnecessary movements during these trying times. Listeners and viewers only have to log on to the ZBC websites and make the payment in the comfort and safety of their homes or offices. It is the safest and easiest way to comply with the law and pay for your radio and television license.
“Let me commend the Board Chairman, Dr Josaya Tayi, the CEO Ms Adelaide Chikunguru and the ZBC team for working hard and developing the E-Licensing platform. The national broadcaster is taking steps in the right direction. By improving its business operations, ZBC will be able to improve on its revenue collection which is critical in the development of content for both radio and television. With other players coming on board in the broadcasting space, we are confident that ZBC will survive the changes, just as it has adapted to digital platforms.
“One of the hallmarks of the Second Republic is a strong work ethic and I encourage the ZBC to continue working hard and being innovative as the leader in broadcasting.
“In conclusion, let us all play our part in promoting a safe and productive business environment. May we continue to adhere to mask up and follow the Covid-19 safety regulations.
“Congratulations, Makorokoto, Amhlope.”
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