However, with the coming into being of the 2013 Constitution with its highly acclaimed Bill of Rights and
explicit provisions on citizens’ right to access to information, it became increasingly clear that AIPPA was
anathema to the enjoyment of the very same right it purported to protect.
This point was driven home under Section 62 of the 2013 Constitution (on access to information), that new
legislation should be enacted to give effect to the enjoyment of that right, thus paving way for the repealing
It is in that regard that the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act in July 2020, as part of the
unbundling of AIPPA, was welcomed as one of the progressive steps taken by the government of
Zimbabwe towards the alignment of the country’s laws with the Constitution.
During the year under review, and as the country forged ahead with the media policy and law reform
processes, another significant milestone was the licensing of the country’s first ever ‘privately owned’
television stations, and community radio stations.
However, these otherwise positive outcomes on the media reforms front, were marred by the government’s
seeming determination to amend the 2013 Constitution prior to the alignment of several laws that are not in
sync with the country’s supreme law enacted in 2013.
This came in the wake of the conclusion of the public hearings on the Constitution Amendment No.2 Bill.
The Bill gazetted on 17 January 2020, is made up of 27 sections that propose to amend no less than 30
sections of the Constitution.
The proposed amendments follow the first amendment to the 2013 Constitution which gave the President
powers to unilaterally appoint the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judge President of the High
This tampering with the Constitution at a time when several laws which have an impact on the enjoyment of
the rights enshrined in Zimbabwe’s Bill of Rights, is widely viewed as being aimed at centralising the
President’s powers, which vitiates against the principle of separation of powers to allow for democratic
checks and balances in the spirit of good governance and accountability.
Another dent which cast further aspersions on the government’s commitment to uphold and respect
constitutionally guaranteed rights, was the spike in the harassment, arrests and assaults of journalists,


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