Members of Parliament on Tuesday urged the Information and Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa to look at the welfare of journalists in the country as their working conditions were poor.

In a report on the state of the media in Zimbabwe, which was presented in the National Assembly by chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information and Media, Sipho Mokone, she said the media played a pivotal role in fostering development in the country and their working conditions should be good.

“Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) should speed up the accreditation and registration process of journalists and media companies and cards should reach journalists in areas such as Victoria Falls.

“The Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services should establish a National Employment Council that will deal with the welfare of media practitioners by March 2022,” Mokone said.

“The Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministry should by March 2022, review and align laws that regulate the media environment with the Constitution such as the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act, Official Secrets Act, sections of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Interception of Communications Act.

“The Finance and Economic Development ministry and the Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services ministry should assist media houses in accessing foreign currency to acquire equipment.”

The committee also recommended that the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe should reduce radio bandwidth to less than 90km so that it can be accessed by several listeners by May 2022.

Beitbridge East MP Albert Nguluvhe (Zanu PF) said journalists should also be capacitated to cover marginalised communities.

Uzumba legislator Simbaneuta Mudarikwa (Zanu PF) said: “All journalists’ accreditation must be done online. We have a full department of information communication technology and everybody is computer literate. Government departments that are in charge of accrediting journalists must do so online.”

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