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Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Bill
November 30, 2001

Published by Zimbabwean Government Gazette Extraordinary dated the 30th November, 2001.

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Presented by the Minister of State for Information and Publicity


To provide members of the public with a right of access to records and information held by public bodies; to make public bodies accountable by giving the public a right to request correction of misrepresented personal information; to prevent the unauthorised collection, use or disclosure of personal information by public bodies; to protect personal privacy; to provide for the regulation of the mass media; to establish a Media and Information Commission and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental to the foregoing.

ENACTED by the President and the Parliament of Zimbabwe


1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Application of Act in relation to other laws.
4. General application of Act.

Access to Information

5. Right to information.
6. Request for record.
7. Fees for services by a public body.
8. Duty to assist applicants.
9. Contents of response.
10. Access to information.
11. Extension of time limit for responding.
12. Transfer of a request.
13. Delegation by the head of a public body.
14. Protection of public body from legal suit.

Protected Information

15. Protection of deliberations of Cabinet and local public bodies.
16. Protection of advice relating to policy.
17. Protection of information subject to client-attorney privilege.
18. Protection of information whose disclosure will be harmful to the law enforcement process and national security.
19. Protection of information relating to inter-governmental relations or negotiations.
20. Protection of information relating to the financial or economic interests of a public body, the government or the country.
21. Protection of research information.
22. Protection of information relating to conservation of heritage sites.
23. Protection of information relating to personal or public safety.
24. Protection of information available to the public.
25. Protection of information relating to business interests of a third party.
26. Protection of information relating to personal privacy.

Information Pertaining to Third Parties

27. Requirement to notify third party.
28. Time limit to give notice of decision.
29. Information to be disclosed if in the public interest.

Collection, Protection and Retention of Personal Information by Public Bodies

30. Purposes for which personal information may be collected.
31. Collection of personal information.
32. Accuracy of personal information.
33. Right to request correction of personal information.
34. Protection of personal information.
35. Retention of personal information.
36. Penalty for deliberately falsifying personal information.

Use and Disclosure of Personal Information by Public Bodies

37. Use of personal information.
38. Disclosure for archival or historical purposes.

Media and Information Commission

39. Establishment of Media and Information Commission.
40. Powers and functions of Commission.
41. Appointment and composition of Media and Information Commission.
42. Financial and miscellaneous provisions relating to Commission.
43. Annual report of Commission.

Media and Information Fund

44. Interpretation in Part IV.
45. Establishing and vesting of Media and Information Fund.
46. Objects of Fund.
47. Moneys of Fund.
48. Levies.
49. Holding of Fund.
50. Financial year of Fund.
51. Accounts and audit of Fund.

Further Powers of Commission

52. Power of Commission to conduct investigations, audits or inquiries.
53. Protection against actions for defamation.
54. Restrictions on disclosure of information by the Commission and staff.
55. Protection of Commission and staff from liability.
56. Delegation of powers by Commission.

Reviews by Commission

57. Right to request for a review.
58. Procedure for seeking review.
59. Notice of review.
60. Inquiry by Commission.
61. Onus of proof.
62. Commissionís orders.
63. Duty to comply with orders.
64. Appeal against a decision of the Commission.
65. Offences and penalties.

Regulation of Mass Media Services

66. Interpretation in Part VII.
67. Application of this Part.
68. Freedom of expression.
69. Abuse of freedom of expression.
70. Ownership of mass media service.
71. Registration of a mass media service.
72. Application for registration.
73. Re-registration and notification of changes.
74. Exemption from registration.
75. Refusal of registration of a mass media service.
76. Registration fee.
77. Cancellation of a registration certificate.
78. Termination or suspension of activity.
79. Penalties for operating a mass media service without registration certificate.
80. Accrual of rights and duties.
81. News agencies.
82. Publisherís imprint.
83. Deposit copies.
84. Obligatory reports.


85. Rights of a journalist.
86. Accreditation of journalists.
87. Journalistsí code of conduct.
88. Use of hidden equipment.
89. Abuse of journalistic privilege.
90. Extent of status and recognition of journalists.
91. Roll of journalists.
92. Application for accreditation as a journalist.
93. Accreditation as a journalist.
94. Prohibition against practice by, or in association with an unqualified journalist.
95. Duration of accreditation certificate of journalist.
96. Discipline of journalists.
97. Correction of untruthful information.
98. Manner in which correction is to be made.
99. Grounds for the refusal of a correction.
100. The right of reply.
101. Foreign correspondents.

General Provisions

102. Regulatory powers of the Minister.
103. Transitional provision.

First schedule: Records exempt from application of Act.
Second schedule: Heads of public bodies.
Third schedule: Governing bodies of professions or occupations.
Fourth schedule: Ancillary powers of Commission.
Fifth schedule: Provisions applicable to Media and Information Commission.
Sixth schedule: Financial and miscellaneous provisions relating to Commission.


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