By Anna Chibamu
NATIONAL Assembly Speaker Jacob Mudenda Wednesday took information minister Monica Mutsvangwa to task over the absence of both state and private media during sitting.
Mudenda, during the question-and-answer session, asked the minister where members of the Fourth Estate were as business of the day commenced.
“Honourable Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services where is your staff, the journalists,” said Mudenda.
Mutsvangwa told Mudenda she was not aware while directing the Speaker to his clerks within the National Assembly.
“The Clerks at the Table might know better,” responded Mutsvangwa.
Mudenda however went on to remind the minister that proceedings in the house were of great importance hence coverage by the media was crucial.
“Minister, today is members’ day just like it is tomorrow Thursday.
“The message from this House and the Senate must go to the people through the media. We are not quite happy with the sluggish manner in which ZBC in particular covers this House and the Senate.
“The message must go out there; policy issues from honourable ministers must go out there and can only do so through the media, both public and private.
“This is the importance of the fourth estate in any country.”
On Tuesday, parliament resumed business but members of the media who had turned up to cover proceedings were turned away.
The reasons given were that journalists were supposed to follow proceedings through parliament’s zoom platform due to Covid-19 that has killed over 1 300 Zimbabweans so far.
Journalists who tried to attend Wednesday were told that a negative Covid-19 certificate was a pre-requisite before anyone could be allowed in the parliament building.
The same message had also been communicated to journalists who are accredited with parliament on a WhatsApp group.