The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe has responded to allegations made by Presidential spokesperson and Information, Media and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary George Charamba during his interview on ZiFM Stereo on Monday evening.
In a letter addressed to Charamba, MISA Zimbabwe said President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s spokesperson misrepresented a number of issues concerning the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). MISA Zimbabwe say Charamba contradicted himself on Monday when he said there is nothing wrong with AIPPA when in fact he had said the legislation was not Constitutional during a presentation before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services in Harare on 18 February 2016. Part of the letter reads:
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The remarks you made about there being nothing objectionable with the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA, are in stark contrast to your very own assertions before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Broadcasting Services in Harare on 18 February 2016.
You conceded then, and under oath, that AIPPA and the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), should be replaced because they are not in line with the current Constitution. These sentiments were echoed by the Acting Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services, Simon Khaya Moyo at the launch of the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe’s elections programme in Harare on 2 February 2018.
MISA Zimbabwe also calls out Charamba for stating that the organisation’s submissions concerning AIPPA did not contain any reforms that can be traced back to the Constitution. MISA-Zimbabwe argues that they called for the urgent repeal of AIPPA and not for its “update” as Charamba stated in his interview. Part of the letter reads:
In the interview you also stated that the submissions made by MISA Zimbabwe do not contain any reforms that can be traced back to the Constitution. This was a total misrepresentation of the submissions we made.
In fact, our submissions highlighted the following contentious AIPPA provisions, which, we re-submit, are out of sync with the current Constitution: specifically:
Section 5 of AIPPA which limits access to information which is in the hands of a public body. Secondly, this section also restricts the exercise of this right to citizens and residents of Zimbabwe. This is in contravention of Section 62 of the Constitution which states that the right to access information can be exercised by every person, and it is applicable to information stored by public, State, and private bodies.
Sections 64 and 80 of AIPPA which criminalise “abuse of freedom of expression” and “abuse of journalistic privilege” respectively. These provisions are in direct contradiction to Section 61 of the Constitution which protects the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
It is a media law that was enacted in 2002 by the then minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo with the purpose of making public bodies more accountable to the public and protect personal privacy. Read More About Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
The Broadcasting Services Act is an Act to provide for the functions, powers and duties of the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe.The Broadcasting Sector in Zimbabwe is regulated by the Broadcasting Services Act [Chapter 12:06] as amended by Amendment Number 6 of 2003 and Amendment Number... Read More About Broadcasting Services Act
George Charamba is the Press Secretary in the Office of the President of Zimbabwe. He is therefore there official spokesperson of the president. He has been in this position since 2000 when he was appointed by President Robert Mugabe Charamba has been a columnist in... Read More About George Charamba