HomeNewsZimbabwe 2011 — Happy 1st Anniversary Newsday

Zimbabwe 2011 — Happy 1st Anniversary Newsday

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It seems only like yesterday that you were born and as we look back on the journey travelled and the words used to describe the human condition and experiences, we must pause and reflect on the critical role words and information play in building nations and advancing the human cause.

As we celebrate your first anniversary, we are reminded that human beings have the power to communicate that other creatures created by God do not have and yet some would see danger in broadening the communication space and enlarging the pipes that convey messages that describe the daily lives of people.

We are privileged to have the voice and translate it into text that can be examined even when we have expired.

In trying to put meaning into God’s intention in creating human beings, we can find no justification why one human being would seek to limit or even eliminate the voice of another being.

We often taken for granted the freedom of communication and expression until we lose both.

The degrees of freedom that we enjoy as human beings are not absolute, but reflect the political morality that informs the constitutional order that prevails in any single country.

The role of the State in undermining or restricting the voice of the very people from whom it derives its legitimacy has to be seen in a broader context of what makes any nation come alive.

The voices of the people must be heard and any nation that wants to advance its cause by restricting the voice of citizens will ultimately fail.

The power of knowledge and the importance of sharing knowledge cannot be overstated.

Ultimately, human beings are privileged in that their life on earth can be examined and recorded for the benefit of future generations.

A society that allows the human voice to find space will condemn death to a mere event. Through the instrumentality of the media, human beings have found a mechanism of conquering death.

Accordingly, those who see the advancement of human civilisation in the limitation of communication and expression, which God willingly gave as a gift to human beings, essentially undermine human heritage.

In any generation, some voices will take a centre stage than others, but all voices must count.

The promise of independence was to enlarge the space from which different and even conflicting voices could be heard without anyone playing God in determining what should or should not be communicated.

Animals have a voice, but have no mechanism of censorship suggesting that God must have intended human beings to use their communication skills without fear of what someone may think.

Your existence as a platform for communication, therefore, is cause for celebration.

You have given a voice to many who would otherwise remain buried through human action and in so doing you have helped in realising the promise of independence that is often taken for granted or undermined in the name of national interest.

It is a pity that no one has taken the effort to measure the real cost imposed on society by limiting the freedom of expression and communication.

Human beings do not like to hear bad news and yet bad news sells.

However, communication that is dominated by a few undermines the promise in as much as unregulated communication can also destroy the promise.

Responsible journalism can only take root when consumers of news take responsibility.

Freedom and prosperity are causally related and, therefore, societies that manipulate what is communicated have themselves to blame for poverty.

The media plays a critical role in making the world smaller and manageable.

By creating everyday news for everyday people, you have helped in expanding the human horizon and opportunity possibilities.

The fact that you were born 30 years after independence tells a story and perhaps we may never know what a difference your absence meant and its true cost.

What is clear is that Zimbabwe’s interests are better served by knowing that you and your competitors exist.
A few months ago, I agreed to be the change I want to see.

Now on every Tuesday, it is possible for me to communicate with your readers and hopefully through these conversations the daily human interactions can be enriched by seeing the human condition and possibilities using another lens.

We are daily reminded by the death of our beloved ones that we all live in the departure lounge waiting for our turn to depart from the life that we know and want to control.

On your anniversary, June 7 2011, the late Edgar Tekere was called to take his seat on a plane whose destination we will never know and yet because of the media his legacy will live on.

Future generations will know why he and not others qualified to be declared a hero.

The death of any human being is a reminder of how perishable life is and why we should value each and every human being alive.

There is no better way to value human life than to allow those with voices to use them so that the future may know what occupied their minds and informed actions.

Who then would benefit from limiting the freedom of expression and communication?

If God did not see the need to democratise access to the voice and the power to communicate, then why would mortal human beings seek to do what God never intended?

Surely God would have given the gift of communication to only a few if He intended to deny the freedom of expression and communication that many State actors believe should not be a right that must be enjoyed by all citizens without fear.

As you complete your annual cycle, please use the opportunity to celebrate and remind the few that see a benefit in denying the right to freedom of opinion and expression that no human being is entitled to assume the role of a creator fully knowing that the Creator intended that all His creation must have freedom to hold opinions without interference and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of man-made frontiers.

Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish you a happy first anniversary and may the consumers grant you many happy returns by consuming your message.

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