By Lloyd Rabaya

Clerk of Parliament, Mr. Kennedy Chokuda has endorsed the African Parliamentary Press Network (APPN) Zimbabwe Caucus and pledged the august house’s support of the initiative.

This emerged yesterday during the Clerk of Parliament’s meeting with representatives of the APPN Zimbabwe Caucus where they discussed modalities of engagement.

Mr. Chokuda said the Parliament of Zimbabwe is open to multi-stakeholder engagement so as to promote a robust and independent legislative environment.

“As Parliament of Zimbabwe, we are open to multi-stakeholder engagement. We understand the critical role that the media plays in promoting open and democratic societies toward the attainment of Zimbabwe’s 2030 Vision of an upper-middle-income economy as underpinned by the National Development Strategy (NDS1). We, therefore, welcome the APPN Zimbabwe caucus and look forward to fruitful engagement,” Mr. Chokuda said.

The vision of the APPN is to have a well-structured and established media presence in all African Parliaments. Its mission is to build a network that comprises press galleries and parliamentary correspondents in the various African Parliaments to promote the tenet of Open Parliament.

“Our Zimbabwe office bearers include the following: Mkhulili Chimoio – the Dean, Byron Adonis Mutingwende – the General Organiser, Memory Ngwe – Executive Committee member, and Tambudzayi Mutare – ex-officio member. Our engagement will create a platform where we work together with the Parliament of Zimbabwe, the Pan African Parliament, and other key stakeholders like the United Nations Development Programme so as to promote a robust coverage of Parliamentary affairs, not only in the country but on the African continent and the world at large,” Mr. Mutingwende told the clerk.

Parliament is a key arm of government that fosters democracy and sustainable development hence enhanced engagement between Parliament and the media will expedite the achievement of that objective.

The Parliamentary Network Africa (PNAfrica), a Parliamentary Monitoring Organization, with a vision of promoting Open Parliament across Africa, conceptualized the creation of the African Parliamentary Press Network (APPN).

The actualization of this concept was made possible through the partnership with the Centre for Human Rights, South Africa, and Mzalendo Trust, Kenya, under the auspices of the Pan-African Parliament.

“The Network – referred to as the African Parliamentary Press Network (APPN) is managed by PN Africa, with its Secretariat situated at the PN Africa Office in Accra, Ghana. APPN Regulatory Framework Article 8 provides for the creation of Country Caucus structures across Africa. We are pleased to formally inform the Parliament of Zimbabwe that APPN Secretariat championed the creation of the APPN Zimbabwe Caucus structure,” said Mr. Tendai Guvamombe, the APPN Zimbabwe Secretary-General.