B-Metroa��s award winning journalist Gibson Mhaka continues to shine on the national stage after scooping the Small-Scale and Artisanal Reporter of the Year Award at the Mining Media Awards held on Thursday last week in Harare.
For his efforts Mhaka, the News Vampire, who shrugged off stiff competition from Newsday senior reporter Veneranda Langa, walked away with a certificate, a trophy and a cash prize.
The versatile journalist was awarded for one of his in-depth articles, published in our sister paper the Chronicle, titled, a�?Minersa�� mercury use major health concern,a�? which highlighted the hazards and challenges faced by artisanal and small-scale gold miners in the country when using mercury to extract gold.
Mhaka received high praise from the adjudicators for the well researched and incisive article, with the citation reading: a�?The entry was of high quality that depicted that of all the challenges perpetrated and faced by artisanal and small-scale gold miners in the country, ranging from lack of formalisation and regulation, failure to secure loans from banks and other financial institutions for their starting capital, mercury use undoubtedly represents a major environmental and human health concern.
a�?He then suggested that awareness, on mercury as a serious health hazard, is the key to required urgent actions, and needs to be increased at all levels, from national policymakers, regional stakeholders, to health experts and the population in mining areasa�?.
Mhaka paid tribute to his superiors, workmates, family and readers.
a�?It is really a great honour to receive an award for my contribution to one of the countrya��s sterling sectors (mining) which is also the leading industry and major contributor to the economy. This is my fifth award and I dedicate it to my superiors, workmates, family and readers,a�? said an ecstatic Mhaka.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who was guest of honour, told reporters to report truthfully.
The minister said it was unfair for scribes to focus on negative stories, adding that reporters with such proclivities should a�?write at least one positive story per weeka�?.
The event which was organised by MEJRKH Communications and which also saw two other ZIMPAPERS journalists Kuda Bwititi and Africa Moyo scooping the Gold and Diamond Sector Reporters of the Year Awards respectively was attended by various industry, Government representatives and stakeholders from the mining industry.