• Attacks SA Minister of Police for making xenophobic utterances
JERERA - Patrick Chakona the MP for Zaka Central has said that the cost of newspapers in Zimbabwe is too high and this is a big hindrance to the enjoyment of the right to information as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Chakona was speaking at the World Press Freedom Day Commemorations hosted by The Mirror at Jerera Growth Point in Zaka on Friday. The commemorations were attended by community leaders including village heads, chiefs, members of different political parties, councillors, council officials, district heads of Government departments and ordinary citizens. Zaka District Administrator Victor Zinhanga was also present at the commemorations.
This year's commemorations were held under the theme Critical minds for critical times; media's role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
Chakona compared the cost of newspapers in Zimbabwe to South Africa and said in South Africa, The Star which is the most expensive newspaper for example costs R8 or 59 cents and the cheapest The Citizen R4 or 29 cents. In Zimbabwe, the most expensive newspaper, The Financial Gazette costs US$2 and the cheapest newspapers cost US$1.
"Media access should be affordable and reliable to our people such that they do not even think before buying a newspaper.
"This means to access a newspaper, one needs coins and hence the people of South Africa can afford to buy one or two newspapers per day. This should be the case in our country," said Chakona.
Turning to the 2017 theme, Chakona attacked the South African Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula for making utterances at a Press Conference that had the risk of regenerating xenophobic attacks in that country. He urged politicians to use the media for the promotion of peace. He deplored xenophobic attacks in South Africa where citizens of that country, attack, maim and kill other African people.
"As of a week ago, the South African Minister of Police Mbalula uttered statements that totally contradict this year's theme for the media to advance a peaceful, Just and inclusive society," said Chakona.