ZIMBABAWE INTRODUCTION Zimbabwe is currently undergoing a process of implementing its newly-enacted 2013 Constitution. However, very little appears to have been done to synchronise the new Constitution with laws impacting access to information. Government has drafted a Cyber Crimes Bill to purportedly curb ‘Cyber terrorism.’ However, the government has ostensibly been responding to the recent spate of civil disobedience, which was spearheaded by government-critical social movements such as the #thisflag movement and the Tajamuka Campaign; both of which were online campaigns relying on Facebook to convey their message. During 2017, the access to information and freedom of the media situation in the country has generally remained rather gloom, with at least 5 journalists having been caught up in violent skirmishes with the police; with the most recent case involving Newsday journalist Obey Manayiti and a fellow photo-journalist who were assaulted by police while taking pictures in the central business district. This heavy-handed action against journalists is seemingly aimed at blocking wayward police and enforcement practices from entering into the public domain. This is not the only case of the police’s use of unwarranted force against journalists. Similar cases were reported in 2016. These efforts have been subtle yet deliberate measures of ensuring that the media remains contained, in flagrant violation of Sections 61 and 62 of the Constitution. Under the Constitution the following rights are explicitly guaranteed: 61 Freedom of expression and freedom of the media (1) Every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes— (a) freedom to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information; (b) freedom of artistic expression and scientific research and creativity; and (c) academic freedom. (2) Every person is entitled to freedom of the media, which freedom includes protection of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources of information. (3) Broadcasting and other electronic media of communication have freedom of establishment, subject only to State licensing procedures that— (a) are necessary to regulate the airwaves and other forms of signal distribution; and (b) are independent of control by government or by political or commercial interests. (4) All State-owned media of communication must— (a) be free to determine independently the editorial content of their broadcasts or other communications; (b) be impartial; and (c) afford fair opportunity for the presentation of divergent views 114 TANZANIA and dissenting opinions. (5) Freedom of expression and freedom of the media do not include— (a) incitement to violence; (b) advocacy of hatred or hate speech; (c) malicious injury to a person’s reputation or dignity; or (d) malicious or unwarranted breach of a person’s right to privacy. 62 Access to information (1) Every Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident, including the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by the State or by any institution or agency of government at every level, in so far as the information is required in the interests of public accountability. (2) Every person, including the Zimbabwean media, has the right of access to any information held by any person, including the State, in so far as the information is required for the exercise or protection of a right. (3) Every person has a right to the correction of information, or the deletion of untrue, erroneous or misleading information, which is held by the State or any institution or agency of the government at any level, and which relates to that person. (4) Legislation must be enacted to give effect to this right, but may restrict access to information in the interests of defence, public security or professional confidentiality, to the extent that the restriction is fair, reasonable, necessary and justifiable in a democratic society based on openness, justice, human dignity, equality and freedom. However, there still exists a plethora of subsidiary legislation that is inconsistent with these constitutional provisions. Notable among such laws is the Official Secrets Act 1970, which makes it difficult for the public and media to access information held by government and public institutions. Another constitutionally inconsistent law is the Public Order and Security Act 2002 (POSA), which restricts freedom of association and freedom of assembly. Furthermore, the preamble of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act 2002 (AIPPA) provides members of the public with a right of access to records and information held by public bodies. It further pledges to make public bodies accountable by granting the public the right to request correction of misrepresented personal information. The Preamble reads: To provide members of the public with a right of access to records and information held by public bodies; to make public bodies accountable by giving the public a right to request correction of misrepresented personal information; to prevent the unauthorised collection, use or disclosure of personal information by public bodies; to protect personal privacy; to provide for the regulation of the mass media; to establish a Media and Information Commission and to provide for matters connected therewith or incidental to the foregoing. However, in effect the opposite is true, as the law takes away more than it gives.