Back to Index
of Communications Bill
Media Monitoring Project Zimbabwe (MMPZ)
Weekly Media Update 2006-21
May 22nd 2006 – Sunday May 28th 2006
THIS week The
Herald (27/5) revealed that government had gazetted the new
"mail snooping law", the Interception
of Communications Bill, which seeks to "establish
a communication centre to monitor and intercept certain communications
in the course of their transmission through a telecommunication,
postal or any other related service system".
paper merely announced the promulgation of this patently undemocratic
law without relating it to the relentless government’s determination
to stifle the free flow of information. Neither did it view the
development as a reversal of the 2004 Supreme Court ruling, which
found similar provisions in the Posts and Telecommunications Act
to be unconstitutional, as they violated Section 20 of the constitution
that protects the citizens’ right to receive and impart ideas without
To make matters
worse, The Standard (28/5) revealed that apart from the country’s
repressive media laws, journalists, especially those working for
the private media faced other extra judicial hazards in their lawful
execution of duty.
The paper reported
Lands and Security Minister Didymus Mutasa crudely threatening its
reporter Walter Marwizi, after he called him to get a comment on
allegations that Manicaland politicians were unhappy with the dismissal
of Mutare city commissioners by Local Government Minister Ignatious
threatened to "unleash" the dreaded Central
Intelligence Organisation agents on Marwizi "unless the
journalist revealed his sources".
The paper quoted
Mutasa saying: "You know I am the minister in charge
of security. I will deal with you ruthlessly if you don’t tell me
the source. Make no mistake", adding "I
won’t come in person, I am sending my operatives and they will do
a clean job".
is not the first time the same minister has made such threats against
journalists. Early this year, he told The Manica Post (27/1)
that government would take action against a "crop of
journalists" engaged in "illegal activities"
by reporting for "pirate radio stations"
and Western media.
In another related
matter, The Standard reported publishers condemning the Harare
commission’s plans to charge media houses $100 000 a day "for
each site they use to sell their newspaper" saying
was an "insidious attempt to curtail freedom of expression
and free flow of information".
Visit the MMPZ
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.