On 12 February 2019, the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa announced that Cabinet had approved the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
Media law reform and legislation
In recent years, the executive, legislative and judicial branches of Zimbabwe’s government, have all repeatedly acknowledged the need for legislative and policy reforms in the media sector.
Regarding the Broadcasting Services Act, a number of issues have so far been raised by a wide range of stakeholders regarding the alignment of this law.
Nick Mangwana the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting made a number of revelations on how the government intends to move forward with media policies in Zimbabwe.
The government says it will prioritise the alignment of all media laws with the constitution during the coming year, Nick Mangwana, the secretary for Information, Publicity and Broadcasting has said.
National daily newspaper, The Herald, recently published an article in which the immediate former permanent secretary of Information George Charamba explained circumstances under which broadcasting licences were issued in the absence of a Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) Board.
MISA Zimbabwe cautiously welcomes President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s mention of the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) as among other laws that will be amended during the session of the Ninth Parliament of Zimbabwe.
Journalists, media practitioners and representatives of media organisations have implored President Emmerson Mnangagwa to prioritise implementation of the long overdue media reforms following his inauguration as the new Zimbabwean leader.
By regulating the media and establishing the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC), the Act does not only entrench statutory media regulation but also cements the impression that access to information is a media rights issue.
There is the need for more advocacy journalism if I can put it that way, that keeps pushing the boundaries in the hope of enhancing freedom of expression and of the media.