The media has been implored to act as an independent voice to the public, providing correct and well-researched stories to the public.

This was said by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Mr Nick Mangwana at the inaugural Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe Election Reporting Awards.

Journalists should execute their duties in an honourable manner and seriously take their role as the fourth estate in fostering development by exposing discrepancies and bringing to book offenders.

Standing in for the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Cde Monica Mutsvangwa, Mr Mangwana challenged the media to discharge their duties without fear or favour and desist from corruption.

The Voluntary Media Commission of Zimbabwe Executive Mr Loughty Dube highlighted the importance of well researched stories.

Some of the winners who walked away with prices include Newsday reporter Veneranda Landa who scooped the gender and marginalised election reporter of the year while Blessed Mhlanga from the Independent newspaper scooped the 2018 best election reporter award.

The Zimbabwean government is the process of reforming the country’s media laws meant to democratise the media space in Zimbabwe.

In February, cabinet approved the framework for the reform of AIPPA and the proposed new legislation namely Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill, Freedom to Access Information Bill and the Data Protection Bill.