263Chat stringer scoops top award

Freelance Journalist and regular 263Chat stringer Watmore Makokoba was recently awarded with the country`s prestigious environmental reporting award.

By Edward Makuzva

Makokoba was awarded with the Environment Africa/Rainbow Tourism Group award for Best Print News Reporter for 2015 at an event held at Harare International Conference Centre (HICC).

Describing his winning story ,the adjudicators panel representative Lewis Chasakara said his winning story exhibited professional bravery by  talking the might of corporate world and remind them of their corporate responsibility so that society and the environment is not affected by their business activity.

“The environment narrative is also much more than reporting the ‘obvious’. It also means journalists should be able to investigate when certain issues do not make sense; getting on the ground and looking behind the curtain when there just has to be an explanation for seemingly inexplicable incidents,

“This ability to “smell” a story appears to be a dying trait in the country,

“However, The Flame News story, Save Pollution plagues claim livestock: villagers face a health risk, could not be faulted for trying. Set against growing competing financial and environmental interests, the reporter takes the trouble to unearth the truth behind suspected “heavy” pollution of the Save River by mining companies”, said Chasakara.

Makokoba told 263Chat that he was very grateful to have won such a high award and expressed gratitude to all who contributed to the story.

“I am much honored to have won such an award, would like to tae this opportunity to give credit to all organisations, individuals, particularly save/Odzi villagers for their contribution to the success of the story”, Makokoba said.

He walked away with a certificate, trophy and cash.

The Environment Africa/Rainbow Tourism Group award for Runner-up Best Print News Reporter for 2015 was won by Stephen Tsoroti for his story “Earthworms – a growing role in food security”, published in the Harare News,

The adjudicators described his winning story as “a rich narrative of the agricultural, financial and environmental benefits of earthworm farming in the country, all packaged in clear and straightforward language”.