What we do

What we do

MISA Zimbabwe’s work focuses on promoting and advocating for the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.

Our work is guided by the Constitution of Zimbabwe (PDF) and regional and international instruments, among them the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, Windhoek Declaration (PDF), Banjul Declaration on the Principles of Freedom of Expression, African Charter on Broadcasting and African Platform for Access to Information.

Advocacy and lobbying

This is primarily achieved through lobbying key stakeholders, such as relevant ministries, policy makers and regulatory bodies.

These include:

Putting people first

MISA Zimbabwe’s lobby and advocacy work is underpinned by its people-centred strategy adopted in 2002. This strategy involves ensuring ordinary Zimbabweans are a part of policy-making processes.

This MISA Zimbabwe does at community meetings aimed at raising awareness on citizens’ rights to access to information and free expression through an independent and professional media.

MISA Zimbabwe’s civic awareness efforts have enhanced citizens’ participation at community and national level in campaigns to reform the media policy and legislative environment to foster freedom of expression and access to information.

Notable achievements include the mobilisation and participation of citizens in the constitution-making process and subsequent Constitutional Referendum of 2013. Zimbabweans overwhelmingly explicitly demanded a guarantee for media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information which are now provided for under Sections 61 & 62 of the constitution.

Media defence fund

MISA Zimbabwe also runs a Media Defence Fund which provides legal assistance to media practitioners and media houses confronted with law suits, arrests and violations. Over the years, the fund has assisted journalists by assisting with medical bills, support while incarcerated and lawyers fees.

Through this fund,  MISA Zimbabwe successfully challenged the constitutionality of criminal defamation at the Constitutional Court. The law was declared unconstitutional in 2015.

Training

MISA Zimbabwe also promotes media professionalism and accountability through training initiatives based on the media’s capacity needs and global trends.

Media violations and victories

One of MISA Zimbabwe’s key functions is monitoring media freedom and freedom of expression violations and issuing alerts. The alerts also serve as key advocacy tools in the push for a free, diverse, pluralistic and independent media.