Govt to align laws with Constitution

BY FARAI MATIASHE

PLANS to align the country’s draconian media laws to the Constitution are at an advanced stage as the responsible minister is, in a few weeks, expected to present the guiding principles towards the enactment of the three Bills to Parliament.

Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act is one of the repressive pieces of legislation that restrict media freedom and media organisations, civil society and human rights groups have been calling for the Act to be repealed.

Addressing stakeholders at a strategic planning meeting in Harare yesterday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services minister Monica Mutsvangwa said she had already sought legal guidance from the Attorney-General (AG)’s Office to have the laws aligned to the Constitution.

“Last year, my ministry put in motion processes to review Acts that fall under our mandate in a bid to improve them by aligning them to the new Constitution. The process involved getting views from all media stakeholders, including from the media practitioners, civil society groups, the academia, the legal fraternity, collaborating partners and selected members of the public.”

Mutsvangwa said findings were submitted to the AG’s Office for legal guidance and that soon she will be presenting the principles that will guide the enactment of the three Bills to Parliament.

The minister also urged stakeholders not to leave out social media in their planning because it plays a significant role in information sharing.

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