It should also be noted that neither criminalising the publishing of falsehoods or imposing internet shutdowns are reasonable, justifiable and proportionate mechanisms to curb the spread of disinformation.
Access to information
According to NewsDay, this came after “someone” from Parliament reportedly deleted the names of its two reporters from the list of reporters accredited to cover the SONA, thereby effectively barring them from covering the presentation of the 2023 National Budget the next day.
The event, which coincided with the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, was jointly organised by MISA, UNESCO, the Government of Zimbabwe (Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services), Media Monitors and the International Media Support (IMS).
Since its inception, the AMB has served as a trusted source of information on the state of media environments and key developments in freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and access to information in many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Welcome remarks to 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists Africa Commemorations
Without wanting to preempt today’s discussions, may I invite you to remember the four Ps on the safety of journalists – Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnerships. This illustrates that we all have a role in promoting the safety of journalists from the media, civil society, the police and judiciary, and our governments.
We therefore reiterate our earlier calls for the Government, through key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Zimbabwe Media Commission, the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, to come up with concrete mechanisms to curb these worrying media freedom violations.
This year’s commemorations should serve as a reminder of the commitments made under the UNPA to promote a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers.
As MISA, we believe we have the minds and willpower capable of ensuring that the processes and engagements of the Space of Solidarity will provide the leadership required to mobilise and galvanise the people of Southern Africa in response to the threats on free expression in line with the strategic objectives of ensuring and protecting their fundamental right to free expression!
It is therefore critical that public institutions provide information as per their obligations and as provided for by the Freedom of Information Act and Freedom of Information Regulations.
As Africa catches up with the rest of the world, there is a need for a human-rights-based approach to developing AI policies that promote access to information and improved e-Governance.