A United Nations (UN) representative said that they are happy with Zimbabwe’s media reforms following the gazetting of three Bills that are meant to replace the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
There are three Bills, that is, the Freedom of Information Bill, the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill and the Protection of Personal Information/Data Protection Bill that has been tabled before the Cabinet.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of a media workshop in Masvingo on Monday, UN communications specialist Mr Sirak Gebrehiwot said:
So far there are three Bills tabled before the Cabinet.
One relates to broadcasting services, the other on data protection and the third one freedom of information. These are Bills that have been aligned to the Constitution and they offer good space for media but at the same time, they protect personal data.
These are global practices that are being contextualised in Zimbabwe in line with the country’s constitution. As the UN, we are happy with all the process.
We would have to see how these Bills will be ratified by Cabinet, by Members of Parliament and later on by the Head of State according to the law of the land.
But so far, the process, policy stakeholders seem to appreciate and there have been some comments from certain media institutions in terms of specific issues.
This has been received by the Ministry of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services positively and they say they will take note of the issues that are transpiring from this discussion.
So it has opened the space for debate, the space for amendments, and the space for promoting freedom of information which the United Nations stands for and support and also the fulfilment of the Declaration of Human Rights Article 19.