The Zimbabwe Online Content Creators Trust (ZOCC) has filed an urgent chamber application with the High Court seeking an order for suspension of the Zimbabwe Media Commission’s (ZMC) accreditation process set to commence in Harare on 26 May 2020.
In its application filed by lawyer, Richard Manwick Dhaka of Atherstone and Cook, on 25 May 2020, ZOCC says the matter is urgent because the accreditation process by the ZMC is set to proceed on the basis of categories that are not provided for at law.
ZOCC says the ZMC (respondent in the matter) should suspend the accreditation process and also be interdicted from implementing the proposed new accreditation categories.
“Accreditation may proceed after the completion of the ongoing consultations with the applicant (ZOCC) and other relevant stakeholders,” reads the application.
“In light of the apparent ineffectiveness of the recent engagements between media organisations and respondent in slowing down the controversial exercise, pending wider consultations between the respondent and media industry, it is clearly necessary for the court to intervene through the issuance of appropriate interdictory order.”
ZOCC says the court’s timely intervention in protecting the media at large and the applicant, in particular, would give practical effect to the provisions of the Constitution, namely Section 61’s freedom of the media and Section 62’s access to information.
“Considering the respondent’s determination to go ahead with a flawed accreditation process even after efforts by the industry at resolving the matter amicably, it seems clear now, that the only other remedy is available to the applicant is the intervention of this honourable court on an urgent basis,” reads part of the application.