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Parliament says Mnangagwa should appoint substantive Minister of Information

Zimbabwe’s legislators have asked President Emmerson Mnangagwa to appoint a Minister of Information for policy direction.

This was one of the recommendations by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Cyber Security when it examined the 2018 budgets for the Ministry of Information and that of ICT.

Mnangagwa appointed war veterans leader Christopher Mutsvangwa as Information Minister when he unveiled his cabinet last year but was forced to  reverse the decision when it turned out that he had appointed more  ministers who were not legislators than was required by the law.

He made Mutsvangwa one of his special advisers.

The committee also urged the government to provide the $25 million for the digitalization project that it requested arguing that the programme must be completed by June this year.

Below are the recommendations for the two ministries:

HON. DHEWA: I wish to present the final report of the post-budget analysis by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information Communication Technology, Postal and Cyber Security. I will start off with Vote 20, the Ministry of Media, Information and Broadcasting Services. From the allocation for 2018, there was an increase in terms of the budget of 708% …

Hon. Musanhi having passed between the Chair and the Hon. Member on the floor

THE TEMPORARY SPEAKER: Order Hon. Musanhi, you cannot cross between the Chair and the Hon. Member speaking.

HON. DHEWA: In terms of the recommendations, in view of the above observations, the Committee recommends that:

1. The $125 million that the Ministry had asked for should be made available so that the Ministry can complete the digitalisation project and migrate from analogue to digital transmission.

2. The implementation of this programme is behind schedule and should be completed by 30th June this year.

3. The Ministry should fully utilise the film training school and generate some revenues from it through hiring and renting to other players in the media sector.

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