MISAs book sheds light

misa_zimbabweHARARE - The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) last week launched a book focusing on the changes that the government has made to the countrys media laws since 2005, and also analyses the laws impact on freedom of expression as well as citizens right to access information.

The book, entitled Media laws in Zimbabwe, was launched by retired judge, Justice George Smith during a media lawyers conference held at a local hotel last week.

Speaking at the lunch of the publication, MISA Chairperson, Loughty Dube, said that despite sustained activism and pressure, the media landscape in Zimbabwe had remained static and had not meaningfully developed over the last decade.

Through this publication MISA seeks to continually highlight aspects in the legislative framework of Zimbabwe that should be reformed or repealed in their entirety to promote media freedom and diversity and thereby enhance participatory democracy. It is therefore MISA-Zimbabwes hope that this publication will contribute to various lobby campaigns the organisation and indeed its civic partners are conducting to highlight the pitfalls of the countrys media terrain and influence the institution of comprehensive media reforms that will enhance Zimbabwes transition to a true democracy, said Dube.

He added that apart from discussing how the countrys media laws contravened the constitution, it also drew parallels between Zimbabwes media legislative framework and regional as well as international instruments on freedom of expression.

The authorities have often warded off demands for democratic reforms in the country as grounded and driven by sinister western imperialistic regime change plots and not motivated by Zimbabwes genuine desire for freedom. Thus, by comparing the countrys laws with those enshrined in regional instruments, MISA Zimbabwe is demonstrating that Zimbabweans demands for media freedom are not alien to humanitys desire to live a democratic life, but reflect their aspiration to enjoy their inalienable universal rights protected under several international and regional declarations some of which Zimbabwe is signatory, he said.

Since the year 2000, the government has introduced a number of repressive pieces of legislation in the country which, to date, continue to severely curtail the enjoyment and exercise of fundamental civil liberties by the people. Among them are the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Interception of Communications Act (ICA).

Post published in: Politics

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *