Social Communications | SOCCOM

Advancing the Church’s mission of evangelisation through various media channels

Bishop Paul Horan

Chairman for Social Communications

Fr. Johnston Mlambo

National Coordinator SOCCOM

Fr. Methuli Moyo

Assistant National Coordinator SOCCOM

What is Social Communications?

Social Communications is the commission of the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) entrusted with advancing the Church’s mission of evangelisation through various media channels. Serving as the Church’s instrument for advocacy and public relations, this commission is mandated to conduct research, recording, documenting, publishing, packaging, and distributing information pertaining to the Church and society. Social Communications takes its inspiration from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome, as outlined in the Pastoral Instruction “Communio et Progressio” dated 29 January 1971. This document emphasises the importance of providing the public with unrestricted access to information sources and channels, allowing for the free expression of views to properly shape public opinion. In essence, Social Communications provides a platform for education and formation through the dissemination of accurate and truthful information.

The primary objective of Social Communications is to evangelise through various media platforms. This involves conducting research, producing publications, and marketing Church-related products. The commission is structured into print and electronic media divisions. The print media division focuses on research, design, production, and packaging of all printed materials published by the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference, including pastoral letters, the Catholic newspaper “The Catholic Church News,” books, magazines, bulletins, pamphlets, and more.

On the other hand, the electronic media division captures and disseminates church-related events in electronic formats to benefit Christians through their engagement with church media. This includes audio and visual productions facilitated by the vibrant Anesu Recording Studio. These productions aim to inspire and nurture people’s lives and faith. Additionally, the electronic media division oversees the maintenance and updating of media sites and websites for the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference and other social platforms affiliated with the commission.

How Social Communications Works:

Social Communications, also known as SOCCOM, operates under the leadership of a National Coordinator tasked with coordinating communications efforts at the national level. The Coordinator, working with his assistant, plays a pivotal role in animating Diocesan Communications offices across Zimbabwe’s eight Catholic dioceses.

At the diocesan level, the Social Communication Commission is overseen by Diocesan Coordinators appointed by local ordinaries. These coordinators are responsible for coordinating communication activities within their respective dioceses and developing communication strategies tailored to the local church’s needs.

Major Responsibilities of SOCCOM:

  • Publication of the Catholic Church News
  • Coverage and documentation of all church events and developments
  • Enhancement of communication within the church and development of communication strategies to aid in evangelisation efforts
  • Promotion of the church’s work and its engagement with society through communication
  • Promotion of the work of other ZCBC Commissions such as Health, Education, Pontifical Mission Societies, Biblical Pastoral Ministry, Parliamentary Liaison Office, Marriage Tribunal, Marriage and Family, Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace, Caritas, and the Pastoral Centre
  • Animation of Communication within dioceses and assistance in establishing diocesan communication structures
  • Documentation of all church-society-related activities
  • Networking with public and private media to encourage positive coverage of the church
  • Collaboration with international Catholic media organisations like SIGNIS, CAMECO, and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications
  • Furtherance of the church’s mission of evangelisation through the media framework
  • Creation of a platform for sharing information, faith, ideas, and beliefs

    Soccom Departments

    Print Media Department:
    Responsible for all print jobs, including the Catholic Church News newspaper, pastoral letters, and other documents. The print media department also conducts research on various issues.

    Electronic Media Department:
    Responsible for electronic media content, including recordings (audio and video) and programs. The National Coordinator serves as the editor for both electronic and print media programs.

    Social Media Department:
    Administers social media content.

    Structure of Social Communications:

    The structure of the Commission aligns with the Pontifical Mission for Social Communications, overseeing Catholic Church Communications worldwide. As one of the commissions falling under the Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Commission operates under the guidance of a Bishop Chairman who ensures compliance with the church’s doctrine. Currently chaired by Bishop Paul Horan of Mutare, the Commission benefits from the Chairman’s guidance and oversight, ensuring alignment with the mission of evangelisation.


    How does Social Communications work:

    Social Communications also known as SOCCOM is led by the National Coordinator who has the mandate of coordinating communications work at national level. The Coordinator animates Diocesan Communications offices in Zimbabwe’s eight Catholic dioceses.

    At diocese level the Social Communication Commission is led by Diocesan Coordinators who are appointed by the local ordinaries. These coordinators coordinate communication activities in their respective dioceses. They develop communication strategies suitable for their local church.

    Operations of Social Communications:

    The Social Communications Commission operates under the leadership of a National Coordinator assisted by his assistant; both are appointed by the Bishops’ Conference. The National Coordinator oversees daily operations, directs the Commission’s performance in line with church structures, and serves as the editor of the Catholic Church News and executive producer of electronic media content. The Commission supports the work of the Church and other ZCBC Commissions by providing a communication platform to enhance their societal roles.


    Diocesan Operations:

    Social Communications operates within the eight Catholic Dioceses in Zimbabwe, overseen by Diocesan Coordinators responsible for communication efforts within their respective dioceses. Below is a list of Diocesan Social Communications Coordinators:


    Coordinator &

    Mobile Number

    Archdiocese of Bulawayo Fr. Elisha Nyathi                        +263 772 283 205
    Archdiocese of Harare Fr. Johnston Mlambo               +263 733 863 521
    Diocese of Chinhoyi Fr. Romeo Chirenje                  +263 773 247 774
    Diocese of Gokwe Fr. Liberty Tagwirei                    +263 777 523 343
    Diocese of Gweru Fr. Methuli Moyo                        +263 773 147 985
    Diocese of Hwange Fr. Vincent Lumano                  +263 773 929 327
    Diocese of Masvingo Fr. Isaac Muzenda                     +263 773 246 471
    Diocese of Mutare Sr. Marceline Mudambo         +263 773 039 147