MISA Zimbabwe is proud to publish its mid-term state of the media report which takes a look at the media landscape and operating environment with regards to freedom of expression, access to information, digital rights and media freedom in the first half of 2020.
Below is the introduction of the report;
The push by the Zimbabwean government to amend its Constitution prior to the alignment of several laws that are not in sync with the country’s supreme law enacted in 2013, casts aspersions on the government’s sincerity in implementing fundamental law and policy reforms.
This comes in the wake of the conclusion of the public hearings on the Constitution Amendment No.2 Bill. The Bill gazetted on 17 January 2020, is made up of 27 sections that propose to amend no less than 30 sections of the Constitution.
The proposed amendments follow the first amendment to the 2013 Constitution which gave the President powers to unilaterally appoint the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judge President of the High Court.
This tampering with the Constitution at a time when several laws which have an impact on the enjoyment of the rights enshrined in Zimbabwe’s Bill of Rights, is widely viewed as being aimed at centralising the President’s powers, which vitiates against the principle of separation of power to allow for democratic checks and balances in the spirit of good governance and accountability.
In the meantime, the harassment, arrests and assaults of journalists, human rights activists and members of opposition political parties, at the slightest whiff of dissent, by state security agents in several cases, continue with impunity, despite promises by the new Zanu PF government to break with the ills of the era of former President Robert Mugabe.
United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association, Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, in his recent report, aptly captures the sad reality of the obtaining situation in Zimbabwe.
Voule notes that Zimbabwe was suffering from political polarisation and poor governance at a time when the worsening economic environment has added to people’s discontent with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government.
Civic space continues to deteriorate, re-establishing an environment of fear and persecution, he further noted.
To access the full report, click here: Mid-term State of the media report: Jan- June 2020