FIRST Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa has described the late journalist Janet Munyaka as one of the rare breed of scribes who “boldly and unashamedly told the true Zimbabwean narrative”.
Munyaka, a diplomatic correspondent with the State-owned ZBC, died on Saturday evening at St. Anne’s Hospital in Harare where she had been hospitalised with a coronavirus infection for a week.
Munyaka joined ZBC in 2000 as a political and municipal correspondent before rising through the ranks. Below is the full statement by Mrs. Mnangagwa:
Once more the nation is grieving the passing on of Mrs Janet Munyaka who succumbed to Covid-19 at St Annes Hospital on 5 December 2020. Mrs Munyaka was employed by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as a Diplomatic Correspondent.
She joined the national broadcaster as a news reporter in 2000 and held fort till her untimely departure. Janet joined the national broadcaster at a time when Zimbabwe undertook the Fast Track Land Reform Programme whose main objective was the reclamation of land by the majority blacks that had been dispossessed and disenfranchised during the colonial era.
The bold move to re-distribute land equitably was met with a hostile response by the settlers and the former colonizers that sought to use Zimbabwe as an example that land redistribution to empower dispossessed indigenous citizens was a futile and dangerous exercise.
Zimbabwe came under a vicious attack through an unprecedented economic and media onslaught. It took dedicated, patriotic and loyal citizens of the country in the mould of Janet to take it upon themselves to boldly and unashamedly tell the true Zimbabwean narrative.
Today, Zimbabwe boasts of a successful Land Reform Programme and is set to attain an upper middle income society by 2030. It is now incumbent upon all of us Zimbabweans to make the land productive and restore the country’s basket status on the African continent as a way of saying thank you to our heroes and heroines who made personal sacrifice for the good of the country.
Owing to historical prejudices and stereotypes, it is not easy for the girl child to break and be established in most professions to the level Janet had reached.
Janet is remembered as a veteran journalist, hard worker and one of the female media professionals who managed to serve her country well in the face of challenges that face the girl child.
She was a hardworking news reporter who was committed to give a voice to her country. Her hardworking ethos was a great inspiration to many. ■