Freedom of expression

Freedom of expression and access to information

This entails the analysis of new and existing legislation and policies and how these impact people’s fundamental rights to freedom of expression and access to information. It also includes monitoring to what extent people in Zimbabwe can enjoy these rights.

With more governments, including Zimbabwe’s, using privacy and national security laws to gain control of digital spaces and infrastructure, MISA Zimbabwe also monitors freedom of expression online. This is about  the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas in the digital space, without fear or restriction from surveillance, censorship or laws silencing dissent.

Our research and analysis is informed by best practice and regional and international instruments to produce publications such as the Africa Media Barometer, So This Is Democracy and MISA’s Transparency Assessment. We also publish alternative model laws, statements, fact sheets and position papers which serve as our lobby and advocacy tools.

In doing this, we are guided by Zimbabwe’s Bill of Rights and fundamentally, Sections 61 and 62 of Zimbabwe’s Constitution (PDF) which protect the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media, as well as the right to access to information.

Sections 57, 58, 59 and 60 of the Constitution on the rights to privacy, freedom of assembly and association, freedom to demonstrate and petition, and freedom of conscience also inform MISA Zimbabwe’s research and monitoring.

We also refer to regional, continental and international instruments on freedom of expression, notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Windhoek Declaration, African Charter on Broadcasting, African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, Declaration of Principles of Freedom of Expression and the African Platform on Access to Information.