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Media practitioners bill in line for debate in parliament
July 14, 2010
has announced that the Media Practitioners' Bill, which has
been on the cards for more than a year following recommendations
of the All Media Stakeholders Conference held in Kariba in May 2009,
will be among the 23 Bills constituting the legislative agenda of
the next parliamentary session.
He made this
remark during the opening of the 3rd Session of the 7th Parliament
of Zimbabwe in Harare on July 13.
his address, the Media Practitioners Bill seeks to "repeal
the part of the Access
to Information and the Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), which
deals with the registration of journalists and privacy issues".
Information Minister Jameson Timba had earlier mentioned plans to
replace AIPPA with this Bill together with the Freedom of Information
Bill to try and ease the current stringent media regulation.
Mugabe was silent on the Freedom of Information Bill.
What is clear
from his address is government's reluctance to repeal AIPPA
in its entirety as well as a raft of other repressive laws that
continue to inhibit media freedom and Zimbabweans' right to
freedom of expression and access to information. The address also
betrays the authorities' desire to maintain controls and restrictions
on media activity, which have been widely condemned as inimical
to media freedom.
reiterates that only the repeal of AIPPA and other laws that erode
media freedom and their replacement with those compatible with the
best practice in media regulation enshrined in regional and international
instruments on freedom of expression will amount to genuine media
reforms necessary for the democratic development of Zimbabwe.
AIPPA was enacted
in 2002 to regulate media activity in the country. The law provides
for, among other things;
media regulation through the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) the
body is also responsible for the registration, accreditation and
licensing of journalists and media houses.
- A 30 day
period for accessing information from public bodies; the period
can be further extended for another 30 days.
by fine, imprisonment for two years, deregistration, or suspension
from practicing as a journalist for falsify or fabricating information.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
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