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Communique on the recently gazetted AIPPA regulations
January 12, 2011
MISA-Zimbabwe notes the Media, Information and Publicity Minister
Webster Shamu's response to the increase in the media registration
and accreditation fees in The Herald of 7 January, 2011.
In his response,
Minister Shamu stated that his ministry's relationship with
the Zimbabwe Media Commission (ZMC) is 'strictly administrative'
and the statutory media regulatory board "only turns to the
Minister and the Ministry for legal administrative instruments that
give full effect to its decisions".
Shamu's statements are legally correct, the wording in the
Statutory Instrument 186 of 2010 gazetting the accreditation fees
implies that the regulations emanated from his Ministry. The instrument
that was published as a supplement to the Zimbabwe Gazette dated
31 December 2010, clearly states that the Ministry "made"
the regulations in terms of Section 91 of the Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act [Chapter 10:27].
Going by the
wording of the statutory instrument, the ministry is in violation
of the law making the instrument invalid and consequently of no
legal force. This is because section 91 of AIPPA, which formerly
empowered the Minister to make regulations as stated in the statutory
instrument, was amended
in 2007 to give the Zimbabwe Media Commission the authority
to make such regulations. The Ministry only approves them.
Act No. 20 of 2007 section 91(b) (1), "the Commission may,
with the approval of the Minister, by regulation, order or notice,
prescribe matters that, by this Act, are required or permitted to
be prescribed or that in the opinion of the Commission are necessary
or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect
to this Act."
There does not
seem to be any other clause under AIPPA implying the contrary, or
at the very least, giving the Minister any leeway to act outside
the ambit of this administrative role.
It is therefore
MISA-Zimbabwe's considered view that since the gazetting of
the statutory instrument on the new accreditation and registration
fees was inconsistent with the enabling legislation, they are void
and therefore cannot be legally binding.
a Statutory Instrument 186 of 2010 dated 31 December 2010 hiking
accreditation and registration fees for Zimbabwean journalists and
media houses by up to 400% for 2011.
the MISA-Zimbabwe fact
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