More changes needed

innocentgoneseWe commend Member of Parliament, Innocent Gonese, (Pictured) for introducing an amendment to parliament on the draconian Public Order and Security Act (POSA).

This act was promulgated in 2002 and has caused immense suffering among human rights defenders and political activists. This abominable piece of legislation has been abused by Zanu (PF) to restrict the rights of Zimbabweans to freedom of assembly, access to information and several other basic human rights.

There is no place for such legislation in a democratic country. Zimbabwe is a signatory to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights as well as several international conventions designed to protect the basic human rights of people around the world. It is deceitful to sign up to these international conventions and yet introduce laws at home that contradict these very treaties.

The ministry of Home Affairs should have spearheaded the amendments to this law given that it was the police who so grossly abused this law during their over-zealous and selective application. There is apparent inertia on the part of Home Affairs which should have led the way and at least introduced amendments to this much-abused piece of legislation, or preferably repealed it completely.

We are waiting with baited breath for another member of parliament to come up with an amendment to the misnamed Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). This anti-media law has wreaked havoc and done untold damage to freedom of expression in our country. Like POSA, it has no place in a country that is marching towards democracy.

It is unlikely that the political dinosaurs in the ministry of information will be able to effect any meaningful change to this anti-freedom law as is demanded of them in the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

We therefore need more Goneses to drag these unrepentant media tyrants, screaming and kicking, into the new decade. A decade characterised by unity, and freedom! Our unity government can no longer sit idly by as the old, unwilling partners hold on to their tools of oppression.

Word For Today

Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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