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Mugabe ally warns against technology abuse

by Staff reporter
14 Feb 2017 at 05:45hrs | Views

THE Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Dr Christopher Mushohwe yesterday commended the role played by radio in mobilising people during the country's liberation struggle adding that the medium was critical in promoting socio-economic development if used responsibly.

Dr Mushohwe said this while officiating at the World Radio Day celebrations held at Takashinga Cricket Club in Highfield, Harare.

The 2017 theme for World Radio Day was "Radio is You".

Zimbabwe was chosen to host the sixth edition of the annual World Radio Day celebrations on behalf of the Southern Africa region by officials from the African Union of Broadcasters who visited the country in August last year.

Senegal simultenously marked the celebrations on behalf of West Africa.

Notable personalities who attended the celebrations include the United Nations resident coordinator Mr Bishow Parajuli, Zimbabwe Broadcasting Coporation (ZBC) acting chief executive Mr Patrick Mavhura, South African Broadcasting Corporation acting group executive of corporate affairs Mr Keobokile Mosweu and senior Government officials.

"During the liberation struggle, radio played a critical role in mobilising the masses towards the ideals of the revolution. Liberation broadcasts such as Voice of Zimbabwe that was broadcasting from Maputo (Mozamabique) touched the hearts and souls of many, ensuring that that the whole nation became galvanised towards nothing else other than attainment of full independence," said Dr Mushohwe.

He said that it was illustrative that the celebrations were being held at Takashinga Cricket Club, which he described as a symbol of the struggle and advancement of disadvantaged communities.

"At a time when black cricket players were sidelined from the national team, when cricket was a preserve of a few elite, a time when it was almost taboo for schools in high density suburbs to play cricket, a few bold individuals rose up and formed the club Takashinga," he said.

Some of the founders of Takashinga include cricket players Stephen Mangongo and Givemore Makoni.

Dr Mushohwe said radio had a critical role to play in ensuring the success of the Zim-Asset economic blueprint.

"While acknowledging that radio has great entertainment value as we have witnessed here, it is also a medium of communication that can be used to disseminate information that saves lives, brings development to marginalised communities as well as helps in promoting gender parity," he said.

Dr Mushohwe said radio had also brought entertainment to rural communities and upliftment of the livelihoods of disadvantaged communities.

He said radio had endured in the face of new technologies that have made other means of mass communication redundant.

"The electronic industry has seen rapid transformation since the turn of the millennium in developments that have seen other modes of mass communication becoming redundant.

"Radio has however been resilient, maintaining its traditional format while also transforming itself to meet modern requirements of new technologies such as the Internet, mobile phones and satellite broadcasting," Dr Mushohwe said.

He warned against abuse of new technologies in information dissemination that pose a danger to young people.

"While technology has become the heartbeat of modern life, it also poses some dangers to the young generation.

"Through the Internet, some of our bright prospects among the youth end up being misled by perverts who trick them into such vices as pornography, prostitution, drug abuse among other crimes.

"While radio can mobilise for the good of society, it can also be used to do the same for the bad things.

"We have heard when radio was used to fan division and hatred in societies that suffered genocides and at times by terrorists seeking to mobilise for their heartless activities.

"While enjoying the benefits that radio can bring to society, we should ensure that it is not used for fiendish ends," Dr Mushohwe added.

UN resident coordinator Mr Parajuli said despite radio being over 100 years old, it still remained a popular medium of communication for both young people and adults.

"Today, 94 percent of adults listen to the radio weekly, radio really is a universal medium. In 2016, more people listened to the radio than watched TV or smartphones.

"Some 3,9 billion people — more than half the world's population – are still not connected to the Internet, making radio the most accessible medium," Mr Parajuli said.
Source - chroncle