In an opinion piece posted today on Nehanda Radio, prominent journalist, Hopewell Chin’ono writes about how media reforms can help turn the Zimbabwe economy around. The article itself is political reforms and the writer ties the media reforms into this wider subject.
Imagine what it would do to our economy and international relations if President Mnangagwa repealed repressive laws such as AIPPA & POSA and replaced them with progressive laws that will enhance and encourage media businesses to thrive.
This is good for Zimbabweans and not just for outsiders as some Ghost accounts run by Taurai Chinyamakobvu on Twitter comically peddle daily.
A Zimbabwe with civilized laws and a Zimbabwe that allows its citizens to have modern platforms such as television stations to communicate and showcase their art will thrive economically, because media is a business and not just crude propaganda outlets such as ZBC and the Herald.
When I talk about Media Reforms being necessary, I am not talking about ZBC News and all that stuff that sends shivers down the spines of ZANUPF spin-doctors like George Charamba, Regime Associates, Apologists and party political Sycophants.
I am talking about a proper business and prosperity effect that such media reforms and subsequent media businesses would bring to our broken and battered economy!
The political principals do not properly understand this because they take advice on such technical issues from people pushing personal agendas such as Charamba.
These folks thrive in a divisive world and they hate harmonious engagements because they takes away their power to be consulted by the Presidency.
They hate new ideas that can make them politically irrelevant and they will doggedly fight to block any progressive ideas.
Moving on, I have always reminded folks about a fascinating piece of historical African broadcasting reality.
Zimbabwe and Nigeria were the only two countries in Sub Saharan Africa with a television station in 1960, the only two countries before even South Africa which only got its first television station sixteen years after Zimbabwe.
Today Nigeria, which pioneered television alongside Zimbabwe, has 113 television stations and a billion dollar Nollywood film industry that came out of that progressive investment.
Today Nollywood pays taxes to the State and directly employs millions of people who also pay taxes that help in funding social services in Nigeria.
Having broadcasting plurality or more television stations has allowed Nigerian filmmakers, content producers and the art industry in general to have platforms where they can showcase their products commercially.
Today that is not possible in Zimbabwe because we only have one television station that is owned by the State, and also because the ZANUPF government refuses to give television and radio licenses to genuine professionals in the media industry.
This is because they are ignorant of the fact that television is not just about news and crude propaganda, it is also about fashion, it is also about wildlife, it is also about sport, it is also about music, it is also about business an markets, it is also about agriculture and the list goes on!
That revenue that is being lost from lack of a prosperous media industry would have made the cost of your bread and fuel much cheaper because of the taxes collected from the media industry.
Today the government collects the bulk of money in every litre of your fuel sold because it has a very limited tax base to collect from.
We have compatriots like Chipo Chung and Danai Gurira who have made it at the highest global film platforms including Hollywood, and yet because of our backward approach towards television and media businesses, we are not getting a single penny from their successes, it is other countries that are eating off that success on our behalf.
Sad and pathetic but that is where we are at the moment courtesy of our toxic political environment driven by corruption, incompetence, nepotism and gross mismanagement.
If the media industry were allowed to thrive, the government would have lowered bread taxes that make it expensive for us to have breakfast in the morning, and it would have also lowered the taxes that have turned tea at 10AM and at 4PM into a luxury pursuit.
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Chipo Chung is a prominent Zimbabwean actress based in London who has featured in many global television movies and shows such as Sherlock and Doctor Who and A.D. The Bible Continuesin which she played the role of Mary Magdalene. In 2017 she narrated for the... Read More About Chipo Chung
Danai Gurira is an actress, playwright and a producer who is based in the United State of America (USA) who rose to fame in 2004 when she starred in a drama series Law and Order: Criminal Intent. From then onwards, Danai has been a force... Read More About Danai Gurira
Hopewell Chin'ono is a Zimbabwean journalist and documentary film maker. He has won numerous awards in journalism and has worked in both print and broadcasting journalism.Hopewell did a fellowship at Harvard as part of winning the CNN African journalist of the year. Read More About Hopewell Chin'ono