By Loice Dube
MISA Zimbabwe has called upon government to desist from continuously failing to implement progressive policy pronouncements within specified time frames. This followed an announcement by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Monica Mutsvangwa to repeal Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
In a statement MISA Zimbabwe said,” The Zimbabwean government has an unflattering reputation of making progress pronouncements, but then failing to follow through by implementing laws that enable the effective realisation of those policy change.”
MISA argued that the government makes several commitments to finalise the drafting of cyber laws but, have remained unfulfilled.
“For example, government has made several commitments to finalise the drafting of Cyber laws, but this has remained in the ministerial pipeline for the past six years. Similarly, the government committed to meeting the ITU imposed deadline for the broadcasting digitisation process but the process is still to be completed,” reads the statement.
“We therefore, urge government to set and stick to timelines as to when AIPPA will be repealed and the three replacement laws are likely to be gazetted and debated in Parliament,” added MISA Zim.
MISA said the statement by Minister Mutsvangwa to repeal AIPPA would not mean a change to the legislation.
“It should be noted that the minister’s announcement does not repeal AIPPA. AIPPA remains intact and in full effect until it is formally repealed by another Act.”
MISA recommends the government to put in place laws that will replace AIPPA to reflect technologically driven changes to the media and broadcasting landscape as technology has changed the way we share, access and consume information.
AIPPA was enforced in 2001 by the Zimbabwean Parliament to provide a legal framework for the access and conduct of requesting information from public bodies and privacy as well as for the regulation of mass media by the establishment of Zimbabwe Media Commission.
AIPPA will be replaced by a Data Protection law, a Freedom to Access Information law, and a law regulating the Zimbabwe Media Commission.
MISA Zimbabwe in a non- governmental organisation whose work focus is promoting and advocating for the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.