owards the end
of 2014, factional
fights spawned by
Zanu-PF intra-party
succeed President
Mugabe, resulted
in the ejection of
former Vice President Joice Mujuru
from government and eventually the
party. This was followed by dismissals
and suspensions of her perceived loyalists and included senior party officials
and Ministers. This factional war spilled
into 2015 and eventually gave birth to
two distinct and bitterly-opposed camps
– whpd pthe President continuously
works hard on containing.
The factionalism, coupled with an ailing economy that witnessed massive
company closures, staff retrenchment,
salary cuts, and reduced working hours
across all sectors also filtered down to
the media. The operations of the media
were affected by a shrinking advertising
market and discriminating consumers,
posing serious viability and sustainability challenges for media houses. Media
houses cut down on staff, froze salaries
and streamlined their operations. This
led to a decline in media diversity, increased self-censorship, and deterioration in the independence and quality of
Slow progress in media reforms also
characterised 2015.
Despite adoption of a progressive Constitution in 2013 that guarantees media
freedom and freedom of expression and
the launch of the country’s Media Panel
of Inquiry recommending the reform of
oppressive laws, the country has not
seen any meaningful shifts in the country’s legislation or policies.


So This is Democracy? 2015

For instance Sections 60, 61 and 62 of
Zimbabwe’s constitution guarantee the
rights to propagate one’s thoughts, media freedom, freedom of expression and
access to information. However, most
statutes relating to unhindered enjoyment of these liberties have remained
intact. Other laws such as the Official
Secrets Act, the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (CODE), as well as
the Defence and Police Acts, restrict the
dissemination of information on the pretext of protecting public security. All this
militates against the spirit and letter of
the new constitution.
The beacon of hope for the media sector was the scrapping of criminal from
the statute books by the Constitutional

Media Reforms
On 18 March 2015, Media Panel of Inquiry (IMPI) officially released its report
on Zimbabwe’s information and media
sector. Launched by the then Media and
Broadcasting Services, Minister Jonathan Moyo, in December 2013, the 25
member panel went around the country in a 666-page report which included
recommendations that government review misaligned legislation and at the
same time recommended the repeal of
laws such as the Access to Information
and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA),
Criminal Law (Codification and Reform)
Act (CODE), Broadcasting Services Act
(BSA), Censorship and Entertainment
Controls Act (CECA), Official Secrets Act
(OSA) and Copyright and Neighbouring
Rights Act.
“The orientation of laws affecting the
information sector has been one of control, and not one of viewing this sector
anew, as a growth pole in the national

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