Freedom Fone & Kubatana Trust of Zimbabwe have won the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award 2012!
Upenyu Makoni-Muchemwa was in London last night to receive the Innovation Award that recognises the original use of new technology to circumvent censorship and foster debate, argument or dissent.
"Repressive governments deliberately hinder people's access to information to entrench control and minimise dissent. New media technologies, and the innovative uses of old media, challenge this control," said Upenyu after accepting the award.
The award recognises the hard work and motivation that has gone into creating Freedom Fone. Growing this platform in Zimbabwe has not been easy considering the restrictions on media freedom. The Broadcasting Authorities have repeatedly threatened to shut us down by claiming that making information available via mobile phones is in contravention the broadcasting laws.
Index on Censorship campaigns for freedom of expression as a fundamental freedom across the world. For over 40 years it has given a voice to activists, writers, artists and journalists who are being prevented from speaking out by repressive governments and media laws.
Freedom Fone was awarded the prize under the category of Innovation. Other prizes were also awarded to Ali Ferzat, the Syrian cartoonist for the Arts Award; Idrak Abbasov, the Azerbaijani journalist for the Journalism Award; and the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights for the Advocacy Award. Check out all the awards here.
Not to mention all the other inspiring individuals and projects that came shortlisted for their work and motivaiton in challenging censorship.
It is a great honour and priviledge to receive this award and get recognition for the hard work that has gone into developing this platform and providing communication channels to communities in and out of Zimbabwe who don't have access to information.
La lotta continua!