I INTRODUCTION n his inauguration speech on 24 November 2017 following the ouster of former Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he would ensure the pillars of democracy were strengthened and respected in Zimbabwe. At face value, these remarks can be interpreted as a realisation that during his 37-year hold on power, former President Mugabe, failed to strengthen the pillars of democracy. This was despite the coming into existence of the much-acclaimed 2013 Constitution which was expected to usher in a new democratic dispensation in Zimbabwe. In so saying, President Mnangagwa was on target, given that as the year came to a close, laws such as the inaccurately named Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), used to license and regulate the media; the Official Secrets Act (OSA), which would broadly embargo information held by public bodies; and the Broadcasting Services Act (BSA) threatening to hinder free establishment of private radio stations, remained entrenched in the country’s statutes. Other restrictive laws include the Public Order and Security Act, Censorship and Entertainment Controls Act (CECA) and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. These should also be viewed against the government’s accelerated efforts to introduce the cybercrimes law, generally perceived as designed to curb free speech online. The above-mentioned laws are seen as essentially curtailing citizens’ rights to freedom of assembly and association, 138 So This is Democracy? 2017 protest and petition, including the right to freedom of conscience, as provided for by Sections 58, 59 and 60 of the Constitution, as well as contravening Sections 61 and 62 which protect the right to free expression, media freedom and access to information. The government demonstrated its determination to close the democratic space through a slew of threats to clamp down on, among other repressive measures, social media and those who are alleged to abuse it. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION While section 62 of the Constitution explicitly provides for the right to access public information and urges the enactment of a requisite law to give effect to the enjoyment of this right, the widely hindering AIPPA remains firmly entrenched in the statutes.