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



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.


39   Establishment of Media and Information Commission   TOP

(1) For the purposes of this Act, there is hereby established a Commission, to be known as the Media and Information Commission, which shall be a body corporate capable of suing and being sued in its own name and, subject to this Act, of performing all acts that bodies corporate may by law perform.

40   Powers and functions of Commission   TOP

(1) Subject to this Act, the powers and functions of the Commission shall be—

(a) to ensure that Zimbabweans have access to information and effective control of mass media services;

(b) receive and act upon comments from the public about the administration and performance of the mass media in Zimbabwe;

(c) comment on the implications of proposed legislation or programmes of public bodies on access to information and protection of privacy;

(d) comment on the implications of automated systems for collection, storage, analysis or transfer of information on access to information or protection of privacy;

(e) inform the public about this Act;

(f) engage in or commission research into anything affecting the achievement of the purposes of this Act;

(g) to conduct investigations and audits to ensure compliance with any provision of this Act;

(h) to advise the Minister on the adoption and establishment of standards and codes relating to the operation of mass media services;

(i) to receive, evaluate for registration and consider applications for registration as a journalist;

(j) to enforce professional and ethical standards in the mass media;

(k) to review the decisions of public bodies:

(l) to authorise the collection of personal information from sources other than the person to whom the information relates; and

(m) to bring to the attention of the head of a public body any failure to meet the prescribed standards for fulfilling the duty to assist applicants.

(n) to authorise a public body, at the request of the head, to disregard requests that would unreasonably interfere with the operations of the public body;

(o) to accredit journalists; and

(p) to monitor the media and raise user awareness of the media;

(q) to register mass media services in Zimbabwe;

(r) to perform any power or function that the Minister may, from time to time, prescribe as a power or function of the Commission;

(s) to investigate and resolve complaints.

(2) In the exercise of its functions, the Commission shall have regard to the desirability of securing the following objects—

(a) to foster freedom of expression in Zimbabwe;

(b) to make information easily accessible to persons requiring it;

(c) to ensure accurate, balanced and unbiased reporting by the mass media services in Zimbabwe;

(d) the development of mass media services that uphold professional and ethical codes of conduct;

(e) to promote the preservation of national security and integrity of Zimbabwe;

(f) to foster a Zimbabwean national identity and integrity;

(g) to be responsible for enforcing and monitoring the enforcement of provisions of this Act, and to ensure that its purposes are achieved.

(3) Subject to this Act, for the better exercise of its functions, the Commission shall have power to do or cause to be done, either by itself or through its agents, all or any of the things specified in the Fourth Schedule, either absolutely or conditionally and either solely or jointly with others.

41   Appointment and composition of Media and Information Commission   TOP

(1) The operations of the Commission shall, subject to this Act, be controlled and managed by a Board.

(2) Subject to subsection (3), the Board shall consist of no fewer than five members and not more than nine members appointed by the Minister after consultation with the President and in accordance with any directions that the President may give him.

(3) The Fifth Schedule shall apply to the qualifications of members of the Board and the Commission, their terms and conditions of office, vacation of office, suspension and dismissal, and the procedure to be followed by the Commission at meetings.

42   Financial and miscellaneous provisions relating to Commission   TOP

The Sixth Schedule shall govern the financial and certain other aspects of the operation of the Commission.

43   Annual report of Commission   TOP

(1) As soon as possible after the end of each year, the Board shall submit to the Minister an annual report on matters dealt with by the Commission during that year.

(2) At any time the Commission may submit a special report to the Minister on any matter upon which the Commission considers it desirable to report.

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