Rumbidzayi Zinyuke in Chimanimani

Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa has commended Zimbabwe Newspapers (1980) Ltd for heeding President Mnagagwa’s call for the private sector to partner the Government in support of the Cyclone Idai recovery efforts.

Zimpapers adopted Chikukwa Primary School, which was destroyed in the disaster that affected Chimanimani and parts of Chipinge in 2019, and has built a two-classroom block at the school.

Speaking at the handover ceremony in Chikukwa yesterday, Minister Mutsvangwa, said the restoration of the devastation caused by the cyclone needed concerted efforts from both the Government and private sector.

“The challenge we met as a country was too big for the Government to handle on its own, which is why we saw partners coming from all directions to partner with Government after the cyclone. For development to be realised, we need to be united so that we work in the same direction as the Government. Despite the economic challenges that have been affecting all companies, Zimpapers included, you have done a commendable job in remembering Chikukwa. What the company has done should be an example to other companies to play their part in the development of the communities they operate in,” she said.

She said the choice by the company to assist a remote school was in line with Government efforts to offer quality education for schools in the remote area.

Minister Mutsvangwa said the media plays an important role in fostering unity and highlighting the successes being recorded in the country. She said journalists should not be vehicles of spreading false information and vilifying efforts by Government to restore the economy and enhance development.

She also urged Zimpapers to engage other private sector players to contribute towards building more classroom blocks and repairing those that were damaged. The classroom block built by Zimpapers has lessened the burden on the available infrastructure at the school, which had 12 of its classrooms classified as not fit by the Government after suffering structural damage during the cyclone.

Chikukwa Primary School head, Mr Cephas Sibindi said the development of the classroom was a positive development which would ease the pressure on the school.

“Some classrooms were no longer fit to be used so we are happy to have this classroom block, especially during this Covid-19 period where we are being encouraged to have smaller classes to promote social distancing,” he said.

He said the school was looking forward to continue working with the company in developing better infrastructure that will withstand any natural disaster.

Zimpapers board chairman Mr Tommy Sithole promised that the group would continue working towards improving the school and the lives of the 10 learners it has adopted.

Two more girls will be adopted and Zimpapers will meet all their educational needs until they finish their secondary education.

“The school highlighted that one of the major challenges they were facing was printing of examination papers so we have bought a printer for the school to alleviate that challenge,” said Mr Sithole.

Zimpapers also handed over hand sanitisers, masks, a thermometer and exercise books to the school.

Minister Mutsvangwa later visited the Manica Post and Diamond FM premises in Mutare, where she met Zimpapers workers.

She encouraged them to continue highlighting the agenda of development which the second Republic is pushing.

“Manica Post and Diamond FM have been doing a wonderful job of highlighting efforts being made by the Government. You did very well after Cyclone Idai hit the province and during the Covid-19 period to inform and educate the public. Continue working to amplify the voice of the Second Republic and the good work it is doing,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa congratulated Zimpapers Television Network for being among the six companies granted free-to-air television licence by the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ).