Govt says committed to upholding freedom of speech, rights of journalists

BY ZBC Reporter

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Retired Lieutenant General Dr Sibusiso Moyo says the second republic is committed to upholding freedom of expression and the rights of journalists in the country.

He was addressing the 2020 virtual World Press Freedom Conference hosted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

“In Zimbabwe, we regard the media as a very important arm, which wields tremendous power and influence. In other words, the safety of journalists is one of the fundamental human rights and freedoms that are enshrined in our supreme law, which guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of the media for every person in the country.”

He added that the media plays a critical role in highlighting and stimulating discussions around nation-building issues

“The media plays a pertinent nation-building function of enlightening and educating the public on current developments, programmes and policies. It is also an important accountability enabler as it raises red flags on issues such as corruption or lack of access to services that might otherwise never be publicly debated or addressed, thereby stimulating Governments to take action on social policy.

“This explains why President E.D. Mnangagwa, right from the advent of the New Dispensation, declared Zero Tolerance for Corruption, which to date has seen two serving Cabinet Ministers and many other high profile personalities arrested and charged… Another milestone is the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act on 1st July 2020, which effectively repealed the Access to Information and Privacy Protection Act (AIPPA).

“The Freedom of Information Act provides journalists and the general citizenry access to information from public bodies, thus giving effect to Section 62 of our Constitution on Access to Information,” Retired Lieutenant General Dr Moyo said.

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