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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Principles that guide the right to access information
    July 13, 2010

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    MISA-Zimbabwe's World Press Freedom Day theme for 2010, Media Freedom & Access to Information should be Constitutional Rights! was deliberately crafted to push for the long overdue inclusion of these separate provisions in Zimbabwe's envisaged new democratic constitution.

    Zimbabwe is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (ACHPR) and the Banjul Declaration on the Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa, among other international and regional instruments that protect media freedom, freedom of expression and the citizens' right to access to information.

    The ongoing constitution-making process therefore offers immense opportunity for Zimbabwe to fulfill its obligations in terms of the afore-mentioned international and regional instruments. This will go a long way in opening a new chapter in Zimbabwe's democratic credentials. This is more so in the context of fostering citizens participation in fostering responsible and accountable governance.

    In pushing for these provisions in the constitution MISA-Zimbabwe is guided by the universal principles that guide the citizens right to access information held by both public and private bodies.

    A free, independent and unfettered media that is not shackled by repressive laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and Public Order and Security Act (POSA) thus plays a fundamental role in the advancement of citizens' participation in governance issues and socio-economic stability and prosperity.

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