Journalists A Priority In Zim’s Covid-19 Vaccination: Cabinet

Cabinet has resolved that journalists be included in the first phase of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme that began in the country last Thursday.

Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa made the announcement during the post Cabinet press briefing at Munhumutapa Building in Harare on Tuesday.

The Information minister said that journalists were accorded essential service status through Statutory Instrument (S.I)93 of 2020, thus their role has made it necessary for them to be included in the vaccination’s first phase.

“Cabinet has approved the request by the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services to include journalists in phase one of this vaccination because journalism is listed as an essential service in S.I 93 of 2020 and the media plays a crucial role in providing information that saves people’s lives,” she said.

Last week the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe engaged the government to prioritise and include journalists in its vaccination rollout programme.

“Journalists, together with other essential priority groups, are frontline workers that need to be prioritised as well as given the critical role they play in keeping the nation informed on developments and measures the government is taking to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.”

“In any case, the media, by virtue of its fundamental and normative role of informing and educating, is key to the coverage of the immunisation rollout.”

“The media can, therefore, not be left out for later consideration as journalists will be reporting from the frontline as the country rolls out immunisation of the essential groups identified to receive the first jabs,” they said.

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