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

Contents

FIFTH SCHEDULE (Section 41(3))

Provisions Applicable to Media and Information Commission

Terms of office and conditions of service of members

1. (1) Subject to this Schedule, a member shall hold office for such period, not exceeding three years, as the Minister may fix on his appointment.

(2) A member shall continue in office after the expiry of his term until he has been re-appointed or his successor has been appointed:

Provided that a member shall not hold office in terms of this subparagraph for longer than six months.

(3) Subject to paragraph 9, a member shall hold office on such terms and conditions as the Minister may fix in relation to members generally.

(4) A retiring member is eligible for re-appointment as a member.

(5) The terms and conditions of office of a member shall not, without the member’s consent, be altered to his detriment during his tenure of office.

 

Disqualifications for appointment as member

2. (1) The Minister shall not appoint a person as a member and no person shall be qualified to hold office as a member who—

(a) is not a citizen of Zimbabwe; or

(b) has a financial interest in any business connected with broadcasting services or systems, or is engaged in any activity connected with any such service or system, or is married or connected to or associated with a person who has such an interest or is engaged in such an activity, unless the Minister is satisfied that the interest or activity will not interfere with the person’s impartial discharge of his duties as a member; or

(c) has, in terms of a law in force in any country—

(i) been adjudged or otherwise declared insolvent or bankrupt and has not been rehabilitated or discharged; or

(ii) made an assignment to, or arrangement or composition with, his creditors which has not been rescinded or set aside; or

(d) has, within the period of five years immediately preceding the date of his proposed appointment, been convicted—

(i) in Zimbabwe, of an offence; or

(ii) outside Zimbabwe, in respect of conduct which, if committed in Zimbabwe, would constitute an offence;

and sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding six months imposed without the option of a fine, whether or not any portion has been suspended, and has not received a free pardon.

(2) A person who is—

(a) a member of Parliament; or

(b) a member of two or more other statutory bodies;

shall not be appointed as a member of the Authority, nor shall he be qualified to hold office as a member.

(3) For the purposes of subparagraph (b) of subparagraph (2) a person who is appointed to a council, board or other authority which is a statutory body or which is responsible for the administration of the affairs of a statutory body shall be regarded as a member of that statutory body.

 

Vacation of office by member

3. A member shall vacate his office and his office shall become vacant—

(a) three months after the date upon which he gives notice in writing to the Minister of his intention to resign, or on the expiry of such other period of notice as he and the Minister may agree; or

(b) on the date he begins to serve a sentence of imprisonment imposed without the option of a fine—

(i) in Zimbabwe, in respect of an offence; or

(ii) outside Zimbabwe, in respect of conduct which, if committed in Zimbabwe, would constitute an offence; or

(c) if he becomes disqualified in terms of subparagraph (a), (b) or (c) of subparagraph (1) of paragraph 2, or in terms of subparagraph (2) of that paragraph, to hold office as a member; or

(d) if he is required in terms of paragraph 4 to vacate his office.

 

Dismissal or suspension of members

4. (1) The Minister may require a member to vacate his office if the member—

(a) has, subject to subparagraph (3), been found to have conducted himself in a manner that renders him unsuitable as a member, including a contravention of paragraph 9; or

(b) has failed to comply with any term or condition of his office fixed by the Minister in terms of subparagraph (3) of paragraph 1; or

(c) is mentally or physically incapable of efficiently carrying out his functions as a member; or

(d) has been absent without the permission of the Board from two consecutive meetings of the Commission of which he was given at least seven days’ notice, and there was no just cause for the member’s absence.

(2) The Minister may suspend a member—

(a) whom he suspects on reasonable grounds of having been guilty of conduct referred to in subparagraph (a) of subparagraph (1); or

(b) against whom criminal proceedings have been instituted for an offence in respect of which a sentence of imprisonment without the option of a fine may be imposed;

and while that member is so suspended he shall not carry out any functions as a member.

(3) A member suspended in terms of subparagraph (a) of subparagraph (2) shall be given notice in writing of the grounds for the suspension and may, within fourteen days of being so notified, make written representations to the Minister showing cause why no finding of misconduct rendering him unsuitable to be member of the Board should be made.

(4) The Minister, shall require a member suspended in terms of subparagraph (a) of subparagraph (2) to vacate his office if—

(a) no representations are made by the member in terms of subparagraph (3); or

(b) the Minister finds that, notwithstanding representations made in terms of subparagraph (3), the member is guilty of the misconduct alleged.

 

Filling of vacancies on Board

5. On the death of, or vacation of office by, a member, the Minister may appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy:

Provided that if as a result of the vacancy the number of members falls below the minimum number specified in paragraph 5, the Minister shall fill the vacancy within three weeks.

 

Chairman and vice-chairman of Board

6. (1) The Minister shall designate one of the members as chairman of the Board and another member as vice-chairman of the Board.

(2) The vice-chairman of the Board shall perform the chairman’s functions whenever the chairman is for any reason unable to perform them.

(3) The chairman or vice-chairman of the Board may at any time resign his office as such by one month’s notice in writing to the Minister.

(4) Whenever the office of chairman or vice-chairman of the Board falls vacant, the Minister shall fill the vacancy within three weeks.

 

Meetings and procedure of Board

7. (1) The Board shall hold its first meeting on such date and at such place as the Minister may fix, being not more than three months after the fixed date, and thereafter the Board shall meet for the dispatch of business as often as is necessary or expedient and, subject to this paragraph, may adjourn, close, and otherwise regulate its meetings and procedure as it thinks fit:

Provided that the Board shall meet not less than six times in each year.

(2) The chairman of the Board—

(a) may at any time convene a special meeting of the Board; and

(b) shall convene a special meeting of the Board on the written request of—

(i) the Minister, within such period as the Minister may specify; or

(ii) not fewer than two members, not later than 14 days after his receipt of such request.

(3) Written notice of any special meeting convened in terms of subparagraph (2) shall be sent to each member not later than seven days before the meeting and shall specify the business for which the meeting has been convened:

Provided that if, in the opinion of the chairman or Minister, as the case may be, the urgency of the business for which the meeting is to be convened so requires, notice of not less than 48 hours may be given.

(4) No business shall be discussed at a special meeting convened in terms of subparagraph (2) other than—

(a) such business as may be determined by the chairman of the Board, where the chairman of the Board has convened the meeting in terms of subparagraph (a) of subparagraph 2; or

(b) the business specified in the request for the meeting, where the chairman of the Board has convened the meeting in terms of subparagraph (b) of subparagraph 2.

(5) The chairman or, in his absence, the vice-chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Board:

Provided that, if the chairman and the vice-chairman are both absent from a meeting of the Board, the members present may elect one of their number to preside at that meeting as chairman.

(6) Three members shall form a quorum at any meeting of the Board.

(7) All acts, matters or things authorised or required to be done by the Board may be decided by a majority vote at a meeting of the Board at which a quorum is present.

(8) Subject to paragraph 9, at all meetings of the Board each member present shall have one vote on each question before the Board and, in the event of an equality of votes, the chairman shall have a casting vote in addition to a deliberative vote.

(9) Any proposal circulated among all members and agreed to in writing by a majority of all members shall have the same effect as a resolution passed at a duly constituted meeting of the Board and shall be incorporated in the minutes of the next succeeding meeting of the Board:

Provided that, if a member requires that such proposal be placed before a meeting of the Board, this subparagraph shall not apply to such proposal.

 

Remuneration and expenses of members

8. Members of the Board shall be paid—

(a) such remuneration, if any, as the Minister may from time to time fix for members generally; and

(b) such allowances, if any, as the Minister may from time to time fix to meet any reasonable expenses incurred by members in connection with the business of the Board.

 

Members to disclose certain connections and interests

9. (1) In this paragraph—

"relative" , in relation to a member, means the member’s spouse, child, parent, brother or sister.

(2) Subject to subparagraph (4)—

(a) if a member of the Board—

(i) knowingly acquires or holds a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any matter that is under consideration by the Board; or

(ii) owns any property or has a right in property or a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a company or association of persons which results in the member’s private interests coming or appearing to come into conflict with his functions as a member; or

(iii) knows or has reason to believe that a relative of his—

A. has acquired or holds a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any matter that is under consideration by the Board; or

B. owns any property or has a right in property or a direct or indirect pecuniary interest in a company or association of persons which results in the member’s private interests coming or appearing to come into conflict with his functions as a member;

or

(b) if for any reason the private interests of a member come into conflict with his functions as a member;

the member shall forthwith disclose the fact to the Board.

(3) A member referred to in subparagraph (2) shall take no part in the consideration or discussion of, or vote on, any question before the Board which relates to any contract, right, immovable property or interest referred to in that subparagraph.

(4) Any person who contravenes subparagraph (2) or (3) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

 

Validity of decisions and acts of Board

10. No decision or act of the Board or act done under the authority of the Board shall be invalid on the ground that—

(a) the Board consisted of fewer than the minimum number of persons prescribed in subparagraph (1) of paragraph 5; or

(b) a disqualified person acted as a member of the Board at the time the decision was taken or act was done or authorised:

Provided that the Board shall ratify any such decision or action as soon as possible after it becomes aware that the decision or action was taken in the circumstances described in subparagraph (a) or (b).

 

Minutes of proceedings of Board

11. (1) The Board shall cause minutes of all proceedings of and decisions taken at every meeting of the Board to be entered in books kept for the purpose.

(2) Any minutes referred to in subparagraph (1) which purport to be signed by the chairman of the meeting to which the minutes relate or by the chairman of the next following meeting of the Board or the committee concerned, as the case may be, shall be accepted for all purposes as prima facie evidence of the proceedings of and decisions taken at the meeting concerned.

(3) The Board shall cause copies of all minutes that have been signed as provided in subparagraph (2) to be sent without delay to the Minister for his information.

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