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Zim records go missing

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Former Attorney-General Andrew Chigovera claims Zimbabwe has lost records of treaties signed during the Ian Smith regime and federal government of Southern Rhodesia era, hence its failure to domesticate relevant international media and other human rights instruments.

Chigovera made the remarks at a legislators’ workshop organised by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Zimbabwe in Kariba last Friday.

The workshop was meant to scrutinise the impact of regional and international media laws on Zimbabwe, as well as looking at an audit of ratified and domesticated media and access to information instruments.

The workshop brought together MPs from the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communication Technology chaired by Mbizo MP Settlement Chikwinya and the Senate Thematic Committee on Human Rights chaired by Zaka MP Misheck Marava.

Chigovera said it was the duty of legislators to fish for the records and introduce the legislation as private member’s Bills.

Recently, Justice and Legal Affairs minister, Patrick Chinamasa, told Parliament thousands of protocols affecting the media and human rights had not been brought before the legislature for domestication.

“Parliament needs to know legal instruments that have been adopted but not ratified, and MPs also need to know how they can have access to that information from different websites,” Chigovera said.

“For a long time, we tried to compile those treaties and some of those treaties date back to the Rhodesian government and the Federal government of Southern Africa, but the records are not available.”

He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the custodian of all treaties signed by government, but there was no information at all in book form.

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