The Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe Chapter (MISA Zimbabwe), is one of the organisation’s 11 national chapters in the Southern African Developement Community (SADC) whose regional office is in Windhoek, Namibia.
The umbrella Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), was officially launched in 1992, primarily to promote free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media as envisaged by the Windhoek Declaration of May 1991.
MISA Zimbabwe was registered as a Trust on 27 August 1995 and established a fully-fledged secretariat in August 1997.
Over the years, MISA Zimbabwe has decentralised its work, initially run by the Secretariat, to 10 of the country’s provinces through its Advocacy Committees; which are a membership structure recognised through the organisations constitution.
In the past two decades, MISA Zimbabwe has scored successes in its lobby for media reforms. These successes have been achieved through people-centred advocacy for a conducive media environment and greater recognition of the rights to freedom of expression and access to information for the people of Zimbabwe.
Key successes include:
- The adoption of progressive and explicit constitutional provisions on media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information as now provided for in the country’s 2013 Constitution.
- Following years of its Campaign for Broadcasting Diversity which calls for the opening up of the broadcasting sector to include public, community and commercial broadcasting, Zimbabwe has witnessed the partial opening up of the broadcasting sector through the licensing of two national and eight provincial commercial radio stations.
- Following a Constitutional Court application by MISA Zimbabwe, the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that Section 96 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act, which made defamation a criminal offence, be struck off.