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Mugabe signs AIPPA Amendment Bill
January 10, 2005

Zimbabwean journalists caught practicing without being accredited by the Media and Information Commission (MIC) now risk two years imprisonment following the signing of the requisite amendment bill by President Robert Mugabe.

According to a government gazette published on 7 January 2005, the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy (Amendment) Bill, has now been signed into law opening yet another sad chapter in Zimbabwe’s repressive media environment.

Under the AIPPA Amendment Act it is now an offence for unaccredited or suspended journalists to practice without accreditation.

Journalists caught on the wrong side of the law now risk a two-year jail term or a fine not exceeding level seven or both such fine or imprisonment.

This follows the amendment of Section 83 prohibiting unaccredited or suspended journalists form practicing journalism.

Clause 4 of the Act amends paragraph 4 of the Fourth Schedule to the principal Act providing among other issues, the dismissal or suspension of members of the MIC so as to provide for the appointment of an Independent Disciplinary Committee.

The disciplinary committee will determine whether any member of the Commission suspended by the Minister of Information and Publicity in the President’s Office should be dismissed.

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