Zimbabwe Coalition on Debt and Development (ZIMCODD) a partner with AFRODAD hosted a media training on Debt Discourse in Zimbabwe
on the 21st March 2019 at ZESA National Training Centre, Harare; equipping Zimbabwean media practitioners with the knowledge and tools aimed at sensitising media practitioners on the implications of public and publicly guaranteed debt on human rights, poverty, inequality and macroeconomic performance.
Over the course of the one day workshop, the 30 participants from the media fraternity in Zimbabwe drew on the extensive experience of four experts: Mr Tatenda Nyachega, Debt Policy Consultant under the Debt Management Portfolio AFRODAD, Mr John Maketo, Advocacy Manager ZIMCODD, Tafadzwa Chikumbu, Socio-Economic Analyst ZIMCODD and Mr Munyaradzi Mugowo, Communications specialist. In a keynote address Janet Zhou, Executive Director of ZIMCODD echoed that despite the intensity of the Debt crisis in Zimbabwe that has reached to a debt stock of about US$18 billion; there is a gap in public debt reporting by both public and private media houses in Zimbabwe.
“The country is now characterized by corruption; porous public finance management system; deteriorating health system; high unemployment rate and poverty. This calls for media to take lead in investigative journalism to determine why Zimbabwe continues to be in debt distress.” Said Ms Zhou. Janet Zhou called on for media to play its watchdog role earnestly and to create pacts with civil society for the realization of transparency and accountability in public finance management system in Zimbabwe.
The four experts preferred a balanced and interactive approach to learning; utilising a number of case studies and simulation exercises to achieve the desired learning objectives. Some of the topics covered were the Framework and Overview of Public Finance Management in Zimbabwe, Public Debt and Macroeconomic Performance in Zimbabwe, The Nexus between Debt; Poverty and Inequality: Drawing lessons from SADC region and the role of the Media in Debt Discourse in Zimbabwe: Challenges and Opportunities.
Participants greatly appreciated this workshop, with one commenting: “the training was very effective and complimentary. I look forward to using the acquired skills to successfully write debt related articles and analysis, an area l feel will benefit the citizenry.