But earlier the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights had ruled that the Zimbabwean government should repeal sections of the repressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This happened in June, after complaints by the Media Institute for Southern AfricaZimbabwe, the Independent Journalists Association of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.
A recent statement by MISA Zimbabwe said: The complainants challenged the constitutionality of the requirements compelling journalists to be accredited, criminalisation of offences relating to abuse of journalistic privileges and statutory regulation of the profession. The Zimbabwean government unsuccessfully argued that there was nothing prejudicial with the registration and accreditation of journalists, that the right to freedom of expression was not absolute and that the practice of journalism did not place it beyond statutory regulation.
The MISA statement goes on to say: The government has since amended AIPPA, only to replace it with yet another statutory body in the form of the Zimbabwe Media Commission and in terms of Constitutional Amendment No 19 of 2008. This is in breach of the provisions of the African Charter which states that self-regulation is the best system of effecting professionalism in the media.
Observers say Mugabe and his hard liners are now clearly showing that they will abide by no rule, of any law, be it Zimbabwean or African.
The government is coming under fire after another African body ruled against it. News agencies this week focused on government pull-out from the SADC Tribunal that ruled in favour of white commercial farmers.