Bornwell Chakaodza Memorial Lecture Held

The inaugural Bornwell Chakaodza Memorial lecture was held in Harare on Wednesday, 02 May 2012, with the main presenter, William Bango, accusing Zimbabwe’s leaders of reneging on their promise for media freedom at independence.

Bornwell Chakaodza
Bornwell Chakaodza

The memorial lecture held at a local hotel was attended by over a hundred people who included Bornwell Chakaodza’s widow, Emmah Chakaodza, members of the Chakaodza family, the Australian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Matthew Neuhaus, members of the Zimbabwe Media Commission namely Matthew Takaona and Chris Mhike, media practitioners and partner organisations.

Bango who is the former editor of the Daily News told the gathering that 32 years after independence the media in Zimbabwe remained under siege.

“At Independence, our revolutionaries promised a nation that guaranteed personal growth, the right to all citizens, black and white, young and old, to fashion and raise our arguments, a nation that pledged to help us to grow our skills and equal opportunities,”Bango said.

“The promise was to be premised on free speech, before and after delivery, as a way to build and to be happy to shun narrow-mindedness and injustice in fighting corruption.”

Bango also called for the disbanding of ministries of information worldwide and said they should be turned instead into repositories of public records.

“I sincerely believe and subscribe to the contemporary and universal view that government ministries of information should be disbanded and turned into repositories of public records,”he said.

Bango also highlighted the polarisation in the media and said the reportage in Zimbabwe depicted a situation of two contesting parties with two different leaders within separate governments.

He said Chakaodza fought tirelessly for the principle of media self regulation and added that it is a fight journalists have to continue until the media is allowed to operate freely without state intervention.

Bango said a robust voluntary media council, keen to strengthen democracy through open debates and discussion, would help its members to meet their challenges.

VMCZ chairperson, Aleck Muchadehama said Bornwell Chakaodza played an important role in the fight for Press Freedom.

“The Bornwell Chakaodza memorial lecture is a celebration of his life and as we celebrate it we should reflect on the values and ethos he stood for”, said Muchadehama.

“ I stand firm in the belief that what Bornwell stood for will forever remain the guiding principles that we will all use in our fight for press freedom in this country” he added.

To the friends and family of the Chakaodza family, Aleck Muchadehama said they should seek comfort for their loss of their beloved by celebrating the qualities that they most loved and cherished about him.

Mr Muchadehama went on to highlight, Chakaodza’s fight for press freedom and media self regulation saying,

“Bornwell was an ardent believer in the principle of self regulation and served the Media Complaints Committee that deals with complaints received by the VMCZ with distinction, alongside Justice George Smith and Advocate Choice Damiso”

In his closing remarks Mr Muchadehama said he hopes that VMCZ will continue advancing media self- regulation as Bornwell ardently believed in.

Post published in: News

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