BY ZBC Reporter
THE government has this Wednesday enacted the Freedom of Information Bill into law.
This marks a notable milestone in the government’s media legislative reform programme.
In a statement, the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Senator Monica Mutsvangwa said, “the promulgation of the Freedom of Information Act by President Emmerson Mnangagwa has effectively repealed the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).”
Since assuming office in August 2018, President Mnangagwa prioritised the creation of a conducive national media environment through the repeal of AIPPA and the amendment of the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA).
Senator Mutsvangwa said this is an important development for the government and all stakeholders involved in the media industry.
“The enactment of the Freedom of Information Act is indeed a momentous occasion, not only for Government but for the media fraternity and the citizens. AIPPA had aroused a lot of animosity over the years.”
The Minister added that the enactment of the bill into law guarantees access to information as provided for in the constitution.
“The Freedom of Information Act provides citizens and media practitioners with the right to access information as espoused by Sections 61 1(a) and 62 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe through providing the legal frameworks and mechanisms for accessing information from public and private bodies.”
“One such mechanism is the mandatory designation of Information Officers in all public and private entities that shall be responsible for handling information requests and disclosure of information to the public.”
She noted that the law caters for Zimbabweans from all walks of life.
“I am happy that the 2nd Republic Government has enacted a law that Zimbabweans will undoubtedly take pride in as it caters for all citizens regardless of their race, colour, creed, religion, cultural beliefs, and political persuasions.”
Minister Mutsvangwa said the enactment of the Freedom of Information Bill into law serves as a testimony of President Mnangagwa’s total commitment to instituting reforms in line with international best practices.
“As Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, I extend my sincere gratitude to the President, Parliament, the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the public and in particular stakeholders in the media fraternity.”
She also encouraged Zimbabweans to work together in order to achieve more for their country.
The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act was enacted into law in 2002