Media advocacy groups and academics also appended their signatures to the Harmonised Elections
Media Code of Conduct Pledge 2023 in Bulawayo on the 10th of August 2023. The pledge was
endorsed by the Government of Zimbabwe (GoZ), the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), political
parties, Chapter 12 institutions and statutory bodies.

MISA Zimbabwe Way Forward Post-2023 Zimbabwe Elections

The SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections outlines, among other
principles, the need for member states to promote the necessary conditions to foster transparency,
freedom of the media, access to information by all citizens, and equal opportunities for all
candidates and political parties to use the State media.
In Zimbabwe, freedom of the media is protected by Section 61, which also stresses that freedom of
expression and the media excludes, among others, incitement to violence, advocacy of hatred or
hate speech.
The right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media should also be read in tandem with
Section 62 on access to information, which states that the media has the right to access information
held by the State or by any institution or agency of government at every level.
This right is guaranteed as far as the information is required in the interests of public accountability
or the exercise or protection of a right.
A free and unhindered media thus plays a critical role in disseminating information that triggers
citizen participation in governance issues for informed choices and decisions on issues that affect
their daily lives.
Election periods thus thrust immense responsibility on the media to provide the public with
accurate information that will enable the electorate to make informed decisions and choices when
they eventually cast their votes.

Section 160G (1) of the Electoral Act says public broadcasters shall afford all political parties and
independent candidates contesting an election such free access to their broadcasting services as
Section 160 further says a broadcaster or print publisher shall not be obliged, subject to Section

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