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condemns amendments to AIPPA act by Zim government
Independent Media Association
November 12, 2004
The Media Institute
of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has expressed its dissappointment with
the government of Zimbabwe for tightening the obnoxious Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), by stiffening
the punishment for anyone found practising journalism without a license
in Zimbabwe. This is according to a statement released.
The two-year jail sentence or a fine that the amended AIPPA now imposes
on journalists who breach the draconian law is unjustified. These penalties
will further dampen the spirits of media practitioners in Zimbabwe, who
have courageously soldiered on in spite of the numerous challenges they
face from President Mugabe’s autocratic regime.
The media in Zimbabwe have become victims and sacrificial lambs in the
political battles the Mugabe regime is waging with the West. Each time
the Zimbabwean government wants to hit at the West, it comes up with regulations
whose ultimate goal is to cripple the media to a point where they stop
MISA Zambia says it is worried about the continued clampdown on the media
in Zimbabwe because of the possible influence this might have on the actions
of other governments in the SADC region. The establishment of a regional
newspaper called the Southern Times at the behest of Zimbabwe, in conjunction
with the Namibian government, is evidence of the Zimbabwean government’s
ability to influence its neighbours.
MISA Zambia has appealed to SADC leaders and President Thabo Mbeki, who
is the current African Union (AU) chairperson, to exert pressure on Mr.
Mugabe, so that he repeals his government’s oppressive and undemocratic
Furthermore, the organisation urges the AU to take a principled stand
on Zimbabwe and urge President Mugabe to live up to the standards of good
governance that AU leaders have set for themselves in the Peer Review
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