Religious Affairs Correspondent
THREE committed journalists yesterday received the prize money dedicated to reporters championing national peace building in the wake of polarisation at different levels.
Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe (ACCZ) president Archbishop Johannes Ndanga handed over the cash money (US dollars) at one of his offices in a leafy suburb in the capital. The well known man of cloth is one of the pillar stones behind organising and hosting last Wednesday’s Family Peace Festival held at the imposing National Sports Stadium.
The clergyman noted that the country is divided and those divisions are pulling the nation backwards, in dichotomy, a united nation has more traction to make progressive-wise. He also said peace is the pivotal wheel that can make all the other facets of society work well.
Recipients, Godfrey Mavunduse, Columbus Mabika and Talent Chimutambgi walked away US$500 richer for their peace building stories.Mavunduse was in a solo effort while the latter shared their rich pickings.
Godfrey was humbled by the gesture,” I feel very humble to be recognized in this way . I never thought that the story I contributed would be the winning story. I’m very happy for this and wish that it also happens to fellow journalists working for peace. Some of my plans can now be fulfilled because I was in the middle of looking for money for my upcoming graduation and other personal calls”.
Speaking at the mini ceremony convened to hand over the money Archbishop Ndanga said the token was part of efforts to make journalists work for the good of the country as they possess a weapon that can destroy or build a nation in the form of the pen.
“When the nation is at war everybody tends to lose. It doesn’t benefit anybody even you journalists. You have a big role to play in peace building due to your influence with the pen (and camera). If you write negative things about the country that becomes the message constructed in the mind of the world. Learn to be good ambassadors so that the outside world has a positive view of this country, ” he said.
Adding: ” What we are witnessing here is a reward to efforts by these journalists who heeded the call to write stories on peace in the two categories, online and hard copy versions.
Mavunduse’s input titled ‘Mother Moon can single handedly fight for the removal of sanctions: Archbishop Ndanga’ posted on the eve of the Peace and Family Festival is published online in Church and Society News while Mabika and Chimutambgi’s work headlined ‘Peace, Family Fest kicks off today’ in The Herald.
The prize giving event yesterday was attended by journalists from various media houses and correspondents and freelancers who also got cash tokens of appreciation for their presence.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Ndanga mooted the idea of coming up with a Media Association for Peace (MAP) news outlet that will focus on peace infrastructure and moving the nation and probably the continent forward in terms of harmony and unity.
He said Zimbabwe stands at the pedestal of being a role model in peace building in the continent where several spots are notorious for conflict, war, hunger and deep-rooted divisions.
The concept was well received by all the present journalists who were eager to set the publication as soon as possible.
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