President Mnangagwa should crack media reforms whip
As President Emmerson Mnangagwa assumes his presidency following his inauguration as
Zimbabwe’s new leader, MISA Zimbabwe urges him to prioritise the implementation of long overdue
media reforms critical to a new democratic dispensation.
In his inauguration speech on 24 November 2017, President Mnangagwa said he would ensure that
the pillars of democracy are strengthened and respected.
In breaking with the past, President Mnangagwa should also ensure the safety and security of
journalists conducting their lawful professional duties. Above all, he should also be accessible to the
media as it fulfils its watchdog role to foster transparency and accountability.
In the same spirit, MISA Zimbabwe calls for the speedy alignment of the country’s media laws and
policies with the Constitution as provided for in terms of Sections 61 and 62 and indeed other
fundamental sections enshrined under the Declaration of Rights.
Sections 61 and 62 guarantee the right to freedom of expression, media freedom and access to
The pillars of democracy cannot be strengthened through the continued existence of repressive laws
such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and Broadcasting Services
Act (BSA), among others.
These laws impinge on citizens’ right to freedom of expression and free flow of information which is
critical in shaping a new democratic dispensation. The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC)
should thus be transformed into a truly independent public broadcaster that is open to diverse
views and opinions from Zimbabwe’s multi-sectoral populace.
MISA Zimbabwe therefore urges the new President to crack the whip for speedy implementation of
media reforms that have been outstanding since the coming into being of Zimbabwe’s 2013
MISA is a regional non-governmental organisation with members in 11 of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries. Officially launched in September 1992, MISA focuses primarily on the need to promote free, independent and pluralistic media, as envisaged in the 1991 Windhoek Declaration.