Assessing Media Reportage on Liberation War Veterans & Values


Thursday, June 9


Join with Google Meet
The objectives of the debate are:

● To critically assess the manner in which the cross section of Zimbabwean cover issues to do with liberation war veterans and liberation war values;

● To come up with recommendations on how Zimbabwean media can cover liberation war veterans and liberation war value frameworks in objective, informative and critical ways that promote democracy and development.

Tune in and make your contribution

Mutoko Residents reject PVO bill

There was a pandemonium at Kapondoro Business Centre this week during public hearing for the PVO Bill hearing with parliamentary team on justice and legal affairs. Women, men and the youths took turns to reject the bill that is regarded as toxic, politically targeting NGOs and a recipe to disaster for communities wallowing in abject poverty due to climate change reduced rainfall patterns. Women testified how NGO’S in Mutoko have increased their knowledge on issues around human rights, gender justice and HIV/AIDS.

Young people added that the PVO Bill if enacted into law would cripple their ability to provide an oversight role in monitoring elections, combating corruption and poor governance jn Zimbabwe.

The jaw breaker prayer left the audience dumfounded as one faith leader fumed in prayer saying we reject the bill seven times.

PVO Bill responses from public hearings

Poor social service delivery a major GBV contributor

Margaret Chogugudza

Rural Young Women Support Network director, Margaret Chogugudza has blamed  poor social service delivery systems in  rural communities for being one of the major contributors towards high prevalence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the country.

Presenting as a guest speaker on Media Centre’s ‘Talking Point’ WhatsApp Chat interaction, Chogugudza said while gender based violence occur to and affects all women who live both in the country’s urban and rural communities, women in rural communities are more vulnerable victims who lack an awareness, emancipation and access to communication platforms they can use to speak out.

“Women in urban and rural areas face the same types of violence, that is, physical, emotional, psychological and financial, but with rural women the situation is quite worse because they lack access to services like the justice system, the police stations which are far. Imagine a GBV victim, bruised and hurt, having to travel maybe 10-15 km to reach the nearest police station, the hospitals are also far and in most cases they would not have enough resources.

There is also lack of access to information, for example women are unaware of their rights, the laws that protect them against gender based violence and the steps they ought to take when they want to report on GBV cases. Women also lack access to employment opportunities which causes them to rely on men and at times they end up sacrificing to live with their abusive husbands unorder to eke a living,” said Chogugudza.

“Issues of patriarchy in rural areas are also affecting women. Because of lack of knowledge women are oppressed all in the name of culture. Young girls are married of young,” she added.

Violence against women and girls is the most pervasive human rights abuse in the world, affecting every country and community. While boys and men can be also victims of violence, GBV tends to affect mostly girls and women.

According to the United Nations Population Fund, one in three women will experience some form of abuse in her lifetime.

The world began observing its annual campaign on the 16 Days to End Gender-based Violence on 25th November 2021. Zimbabwe joined the world in advocating against GBV running under the theme, ‘End Violence Against Women and Girls Now: No To Child Marriage!’

Gutu Women Safe Space Garden tackles GBV

Participants sharing views in dialogue meeting

A community garden established by women working with Heal Zimbabwe in Gutu has made strides addressing rampant cases of Gender Based Violence (GBV).This came out during a Women Safe Space for Reconciliation dialogue meeting conducted by Heal Zimbabwe on 8 November 2021.

Participants highlighted that they recorded a spike in cases of GBV during the lockdown period which was exacerbated by loss of livelihoods for most people. During the lockdown period the garden had become a referral centre and safe space for women to share and proffer solutions collectively to problems identified.

“We have managed to deal effectively with GBV in this community. We have offered counseling to survivors of GBV and have facilitated for survivors to report their cases to the Victims Friendly Unit, Musasa Project and the Zimbabwe Gender Commission (ZGC)”, said one participant.

Participants also added that besides the garden being a safe space, it also provides local women with a sustainable alternative income to male controlled household income and a physical safe space for women and girls to discuss issues affecting themselves free from interference by men. The garden was created as a product of a community dialogue to address the causes of a spike in sexual and gender based violence in Gutu. The garden currently benefits 50 women drawn from different socio-economic and political backgrounds

Other issues that came out during the dialogue include issues of intraparty violence within ZANU PF and partisan distribution of farming inputs. Participants noted that voter mobilisation exercises by most political parties were creating serious political labeling and tensions in communities. This was mostly demonstrated by politicization of farming inputs from the government under the Pfumvudza inputs scheme. As part of resolutions, the dialogue meeting resolved that there was need for the Women Safe Space to conduct conflict mediation on conflicts identified in collaboration with other local stakeholders. It was also resolved that as part of ensuring effective participation of women in electoral processes, the Safe Space was going to mobilize other women to register to vote ahead of the 2023 elections.

The meetings by Heal Zimbabwe are part of efforts to empower local communities to help safeguard against human rights abuse and also help build peaceful communities. Heal Zimbabwe utilizes various strategies to address conflicts in local communities. One of these ways is the use of community dialogues, an initiative for communities to discuss and collectively identify ways through which they can proffer solutions to problems in their communities. Such   platforms also facilitate local level conversations on pertinent issues affecting communities as well as create socially cohesive communities.

Report of Webinar Held by Media Centre on Community Reporting Review Roundtable Meeting held on 30 September 2021.

This is a report produced on behalf of the Media Centre for the above meeting which had the support from FOJO Media Institute, IMS and the Government of Sweden.

The meeting started with Mr. William Ponela of Zoneful Energy signposting the importance of how Government introduced renewable energy policy to move from dirty energy. This is not reported. Further, the media is not talking about stunted assets where we need to abandon certain aspects like coal. If we move from call what. He also emphasized how information dissemination on energy issues is poor because of poor reportage in the media. There is also the ‘puppy syndrome’ where international investors may dump products because we are not innovating greatly on holistic ways to deal with our challenges. There are serious implications on end consumers since they are shortchanged. There has been a lot of poor reportage on green energy. In countries like Germany and other European energy we can disrupt. In Gr the generation of solar energy is 4c for kWh. In economic sense let’s resort to that. With the invention of lithium batteries and smart phones, solar energy is effective way for our people to have access to clean and safe energy. Local media isn’t talking an informational approach and focus on other issues like resuscitation of Hwange and Kariba power. Solar energy are wireless. Let us share notes with countries like Algeria and Egypt on how smart energy have vitalized energy access. Bangladesh has prioritized investment in solar energy and local renewable agencies have immensely benefited. Public and private sectors must come up with models.

Honorable Mangoma focused on what the energy sector should be like and what it is like. Basically a country needs to have electricity to properly develop. Africa’s energy crises have regrettably hampered development. He focused on four pillars which are:

  1. Generation of electricity– In this pillar Zimbabwe should properly focus on resources like coal, gas, methane; hydro and solar. We have interstate hydro energy which we share with Zambia. There is need to explore ways to exploit the Congo rover energy if our relations are improved. Africa has witnessed significant developments on energy sector seriously in the Nile River and Ethiopia’s of commissioning energy transmission. This is also important since Zimbabwe has little internal hydro generation. Coal has been Zimbabwe’s bedrock and the nation can continue to expand and can exploit that competitive advantage. Added to this are clean energies like natural gas. While we can focus on Zambezi interstate investment, Zimbabwe has solar which can be exploited at a large scale. We can feed this into national grid or roof top installation and reverse metering. Solar energy cannot be lost and wasted. Let’s connect to the national grid.
  2. Transmission- There is inter-linkages between East Africa power pool, Southern African power pool. We need to focus on generation capacities at inter and intra state benefits.
  3. Distribution- Access of electricity at the endpoint by consumers. Zimbabweans have 50-60% access to electricity although much in urban areas and lower in rural areas. There is room for improvement which we must focus on as a nation.
  4. Systems management- Electricity comes with other issues. What you generate must be consumed. High demand for instance shows that we increase generation. We can have systems on load sharing, tariffs, reserve power, pick tariff (higher) and off-pick tariffs (lower). Zimbabwe’s current flat tariff system has to be relooked. Zimbabwe needs smart meters which will tell us whether we have off pick or pick tariffs. This will encourage investment if it is properly reported by the media. We can compare solar energy investments and reportage on the merits and down-sides of coal and hydro energies. In simple, Zimbabwean media must deepen reportage on interstate linkages so that we exploit various transmission networks. This leads to cost effective measures on energy management in Zimbabwe and beyond. This way Zimbabweans can find ways to deal with availability, affordability and accessibility of electricity. There is need for educational campaigns to enable the general populace to make informed choices on taking up issues like reverse metering. Reverse metering is insurance in periods of load shedding or other aspects that affect electricity consumption.

From a media perspective, Miss Sofia Mapuranga a freelance journalist proffered some recommendation on how the media can be a medium of communication on energy issues. She indicated that various mediums like print, broadcasting and online media can be used as a tool to educate the population in sustainable ways. Energy issues dominate various media platforms but there is need to find ways to change public perceptions on energy issues. Public enlightenment is crucial even in promoting energy justice. The media should indeed provide comprehensive accounts of energy events. Generally, energy issues are lowly reported and other key aspects include internet accessibility. The news of news is usually focused on commissions of events by Government or energy scandals. The media landscape is generally like that. The challenges in the media relate to editorial policies that influence the news content. The competition of spaces and this ‘news is business’ perspective has to be genuinely interrogated. There is lack of appreciation on energy issues among journalists or editors. The technical side on energy issues may be lacking especially where media houses are chasing deadlines. There should be partnerships between media and stakeholders so that we establish links between practitioners and other active stakeholders. There is need for organizations to provide resources to journalists and commission energy-related stories. Another way is to incentivize reportage on media issues. We can learn from countries like Rwanda on why they have

After the presentations from Mr. Ponela, Mr. Mangoma and Miss Mapuranga, there were critical interventions from participants like Mr. Ernest Mudzengi. Mr. Mudzengi bemoaned why the media does not go out of its way to deal with issues including issues between ZETDC and scandals on bribes. He raised concern on why there is little on the reportage on how the continuation of the electricity project will be like beyond INTRATEC and ZETDC’s severed relationship. Mr. Mudzengi also raised concerns on the economic value of public-private partnerships in the energy sector. He felt that an innovative business model should be clear so that the partnerships have a business dimension. Mr. Mangoma indicated that there is a serious knowledge gap that needs to be filled in. Independent power producers are legislatively allowed to come in. The tariff issues have to be properly assessed so that we accommodate customers through clear breakdowns on excess energy that is generated. We need to look at business elements by properly understanding the need for tariff charges as they relate to returns on individual and business investment.

Mr. Mudzengi then dealt with the issue of how we can benefit from rural electrification. How can we ensure rural electrification helps us in our national development? Mr. Mabasa indicated that Buhera South is immensely benefiting from rural electrification. In terms of benefits in Buhera South, there are ready benefits in the wielding industry. We have a lot of benefits for schools in the grid network. There is low teaching staff turnover and this benefits students greatly. Areas in Buhera Central are also immensely benefiting from the program. Mr. Ponela noted that high electricity tariffs are however affecting rural investors. There is need for the media to find ways to ensure the production side of electricity utilization is properly reported. Mr. Mangoma also touched on the economic value of rural electrification. He emphasized the human development side of rural electrification. He emphasized that people in rural areas deserve to have their living standards raised in the same way urban areas do. This is a way is much cheaper and friendly ways of approaching rural life. Mr. Mudzengi then urged the Government to also learn from Zambia and how Zimbabwe can also prioritize electrification of areas like Kanyemba near Zambia. This should also be linked to the fundamental issues that were raised by Mr. Timba on issues ranging from climate change, sustainable tobacco farming and so forth.

Mr Tanatswa Dambuza also looked at ways Zimbabwe should indeed borrow electricity under the SADC Power Pool. Because there is liberalization of access to electricity in SADC region, the media must also report on the agreements that Zimbabwe is part of which bear on energy utilization. In the end, there is need for evidence-based media reportage. Mr. Mudzengi however felt that there is need for clarity whether we are borrowing or buying. We should look at this from the debts we have been owing to countries like South Africa. Borrowing will unfortunately depend on SADC regional cooperation. Mr. Mangoma however indicated that the buying of electricity is inevitable. Zimbabwe also sells to other countries. So let’s focus on Zimbabwe’s position as net importer and exporter of electricity.

Mr Mudzengi the director of Media Centre then indicated that there would be a follow up meeting. He also indicated that there would be invitation to many stakeholders so that an evidence-based approach to energy issues is done. He asked the moderator to also suggest on the way forward. In the circumstances the moderator suggested that:

  • This report should be taken as the summary of key take-aways and action items.
  • There is need for Media Centre to identify the individuals who will manage each activity to be done.
  • There is need to establish ways to get a buy-in from other participants.
  • The report or abridged minutes can be shared with the current participants
  • An action plan should be designed as a follow-up tool and road map on action items to be completed especially considering the recommendations from the three speakers.
  • The action plan can be shared by creating a google email
  • There is also need for a communiqué on this meeting which should be published in the state and private media. There is thus need to also find ways to ensure the communiqué is also signed or has the Media Centre’s funding supporters who made this important webinar a success.
  • There is need for Media Centre and partners to also design some achievement celebrations and acknowledge journalistic contributions. This will motivate the reporters, create engagement and improve the quality and effectiveness of reportage on energy.



Report on the need for increased energy generation: Media told

The Media in Zimbabwe has been urged to increase its reportage on electricity generation and distribution as this constitutes an important aspect that can accelerate the production and provision of energy in the country. All the speakers at the webinar meeting convened on Thursday by Media Center, agreed to the fact that media reportage on energy related issues is the life blood upon which efficient power production can be realized for the good of the country.

Former Minister of Energy and Power Development, Elton Mangoma said increased electricity generation is key to ensure improved power generation in Zimbabwe to match what other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are doing. Mangoma added:

“The increase in electricity distribution cannot supersede generation .This will then ensure that electricity distribution in urban, rural, farming and peri-urban areas can only be enhanced once generation improved.”

He also said that electricity usage  in rural areas must go beyond mere lighting, cooking and the use for domestic refrigeration. The use of the energy must also be productive like for purposes of milling, irrigation, and other small to medium businesses.

Mangoma further said there is need for alternative sources of energy and one example he quickly mentioned is the use of Solar Energy which can also be fed into the national grid to avoid wastage. Another issue he tackled relates to the inclusion of Public Private  Partnership (PPP), to generate electricity for Zimbabwe.

The media must be proactive when it comes to reporting on the various models that work for Zimbabwe in terms of electricity generation, the transmission and the distribution aspect.

Zoneful Energy Chief Executive William Pomela, concurred with Mangoma saying Zimbabwe must not neglect renewable sources of energy and the alternative usage of smart energy. He said Zimbabwe must emulate what other countries are doing such as Germany, Bangladesh and Rwanda to maximize power generation and distribution.

Sofia Mapuranga a freelance journalist weighed in saying there is need for a lot of information regarding electricity generation in Zimbabwe.

There ought to be empowerment programmes for journalists to effectively report on electricity generation, distribution and transmission issues. What worries a lot is that not so many media  practitioners understand how  to report on energy issues in Zimbabwe. She also urged the media to utilize the digital space to report on the  energy matters.

Sofia’s views were echoed by the Media Center Executive Director, Earnest Mudzengi who voiced the need for a concerted reportage of the energy matters. He highlighted news agencies such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) who use specialists when reporting on energy issues. Hence, the local news agencies must do the same to enhance knowledge about  energy discussions in Zimbabwe .

Mudzengi following up on a question raised by Tanatsiwa Dambuza, a political and social scientist, acknowledged the importance of following the SADC agreement such as Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) in terms of power importation and exportation of electricity. The media must come up with innovative ways of reporting on  energy  especially following up on agreements such as SAPP.

Currently ,Zimbabwe produces 1,100 megawatts (MW) of electricity against a national demand of 1,500 MW. The Southern African country depend on Kariba Dam for its electricity supply which has an estimated capacity of 1,050 MW. Coal powered stations such as Hwange produce above 70% of the country’s energy. But the Hwange coal power station infrastructure constantly breaks down causing a constant supply interruption.


Community Reporting Review Round table Meeting

Community Reporting Review Round table Meeting

Media Centre will host a Community Reporting Review Round table Meeting on Thursday 30 September 2021. The meeting seeks to question the role or importance and efficacy of media in covering energy issues in Zimbabwe. Below are some of the subjects we expect to tackle.

1. Why is the media not investing time researching on energy issues?
2. Is the media reportage on energy issues helping the nation or it is just reactionary?
3. Why is the media reluctant on reporting issues to do with renewable energy such as solar?
4. Is the media getting enough information about the Kariba and Hwange power station functionality?
5. Why is Zimbabwe seeking to borrow electricity from Zambia when the nations share the same source of power?
6. What can the media do to help the nation solve energy shortages?

The meeting is open to the public and participants are encouraged to ask questions express their views. Below are the Zoom link log in details:

Date: Sep 30, 2021
Time: 10:00 AM Harare.

• Meeting ID: 842 3705 5866
• Passcode: 939631