The Ministry of Information, Publicity & Broadcasting has released a statement after the clash between Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) owner Trevor Ncube and Deputy Minister Energy Mutodi over the weekend. The Minister threated to cut off all government spending from AMH after Ncube accused him of organising thugs to burn NewsDay and The Zimbabwe Independent newspapers. AMH had resisted an order from Mutodi not to increase prices after the company doubled the prices of its newspapers. Mutodi later said that he had buried the hatchet with Ncube, tweeting
I have buried the hatchet with my brother Trevor Ncube in the good spirit of our new 2nd Republic. A friendship built after a fight is long-lasting.
We publish the statement from the Ministry in full,
Today we met one of our major publishers and longtime media practitioner Mr Trevor Nctibe. We thank him and his Team for reaching out. As part of our ministerial mandate, we are obligated to develop a diverse and plural media industry for Zimbabwe.
That means embracing everyone including those who we agree with and those we may not agree with. The idea is not to have a pliant media but the media that is robust and vibrant in its different ways serving the National Interest.
We will continue to engage all stakeholders and listen to their views and take them on board as we formulate the media policy suitable for the New Dispensation and the Second Republic.
This Ministry is not going to have an “Us versus Them” attitude to private media but will treat all players, as a relevant 4th Estate supporting our mantra of Zimbabwe is Open for Business in their different ways. Zimbabwe is open for Business, and we are saying
Zimbabwe is Open for Media Business. We are opening the Media Space and the airwaves for Zimbabwe’s plural views to find channels of outlet. This Ministry is going to have an Open Door Policy. As long as your ideas ads value to the National Interest, everyone will be seen and be heard. We are going to facilitate a 2-way communication between the Government of Zimbabwe and the Citizenry.
Every Zimbabwean wants the Information Industry to develop standards that make output trusted and genuine. In the advent of Fake News, our formal media platforms and publications should be the source of verifiable facts. We hope these high standards of Quality will be sustained.
Let the Media criticise where wrong has happened and let them lead in the celebrations of national culture and national achievements. This Ministry wants dynamism in the promotion of people’s rights as well as national sovereignty.
This Ministry will attend to all Media enquiries on Government Policy, and we are going to be a responsive Communication Arm of Government. If you allow us time we are going to give you the responses you seek because our interests converge on being informative and transparent.
I thank you. We all have a country to build.