MISA Zimbabwe an organisation that promotes free expression has said the gazetted ZMC Bill entrances Statutory regulations. Comparing it to AIPPA MISA Zimbabwe said the bill imports several problematic sections from the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07] Writing on their website MISA Zim said:
The gazetted bill imports several problematic sections from the Commissions of Inquiry Act [Chapter 10:07] which empowers the commission to request for the support of Zimbabwe Republic Police, “during an investigation, hearing or inquiry”. This is a problematic development given the history of Zimbabwe and the implications of police presence in processes that are related to the enjoyment of rights of expression and media freedom.
The organisation further reiterated that the ZMC bill compromises ZMC independence.
The gazetted bill compromises the independence of the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) through the permeating role and powers given to the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.
In section 10 of the Bill which outlines conduct of investigations, the Minister is given super and sweeping powers to gag the process of inquiry, hearing or investigation through a certificate if he or she thinks that the information disclosure will be contrary to the public interest, defence, external relations, national and economic interests.
This clearly suggests that the Minister is above the Constitution of the country which states that “No person may interfere with the functioning of independent commission”. In its current form, the bill seeks to belittle the ZMC as a lesser commission compared to the rest.
More: Misa Zimbabwe
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