MISA Zimbabwe has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking an order interdicting police officers and other law enforcement agents from interfering with the work of journalists on the basis that their press cards were issued in 2019.
MISA Zimbabwe has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking an order compelling the government to publish and disseminate information on the private and public testing and treatment centres allocated for dealing with COVID -19 cases.
The fight against the COVID-19 pandemic among other major challenges poses the greatest test to Zimbabwe’s respect for its Bill of Rights more so as it pertains to media freedom and citizens’ right to access to information.
With the lockdown coming into effect, the sad reality for the majority of Zimbabweans is that internet access remains a challenge with Zimbabwe having been ranked amongst some of the countries with the most expensive data in Africa.
MISA Zimbabwe notes with concern that highly questionable fees, which do not promote the exercise of rights, have been effected recently by different agencies.
MISA Zimbabwe by virtue of this notification has with immediate effect downscaled its operations to reduce the possible spreading of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) among its staff and other stakeholders.
MISA Zimbabwe calls for the review of listener’s fees for radio and television following the increase of listeners' licence fees for both radio and television by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
MISA Zimbabwe and Media Alliance of Zimbabwe recommend that independence of the Zimbabwe Media Commission be guarded by ensuring that the minister’s powers to interfere with its operations are removed.
MISA Zimbabwe maintains that the process used to identify the 10 areas earmarked for the community radio stations was not transparent and had disadvantages to other prospective players.
The Zimbabwe government needs to strike a strategic balance between security concerns and digital rights through safeguarding citizens and content creators’ rights to free expression, in particular, and access to information and the right to privacy.