Desist from attacking media
practitioners and activists
and align provisions of
existing laws on the right
to freedom of opinion
and expression with
international standards.
Amend Sections 31 and 33
of the Criminal Law Code,
2007; Section 14 of the Public
Health (COVID-19 Prevention,
Containment and Treatment)
(National Lockdown) Order,
2020; Section 13 and 14 of
Censorship and Entertainment
Controls Act, 1967.
According to the State of Media Report in
Zimbabwe 2020, there were 52 reports of
assault, harassment, arrest, and detention of
journalists — up from 28 in 2019. 1
In June 2020, freelance journalist Godfrey
Mtimba was arrested on allegations of
undermining the authority of the President
pursuant to Section 33 of the Criminal Law
Between 2020 and 2021, journalist and critic,
Hopewell Chin’ono was arrested and charged to
court under section 31 of the Criminal Law
Code on allegations of communicating false
information, inciting public violence and
obstruction of justice through online posts.3

Immediately halt the practice
of implementing internet
shutdowns and any other
arbitrary actions that limit
access to the internet.
Ensure that any restrictions
on internet access, online
expression, assembly and
association are consistent with
international and regional human
rights standards.
On 6 July 2016, amidst online campaigns
under the hashtag #ThisFlagMovement
which challenged the rampant abuse of state
resources and corruption, the Zimbabwean
government temporarily blocked access to the
instant messaging application WhatsApp.4
In January 2019, Zimbabwe experienced a
second restriction to access to social media
platforms and major websites following
public protests against a 150% increase
in fuel prices.5 The Zimbabwe High Court
later ruled that the state-initiated internet
shutdown was illegal6 following a case filed
by the Media Institute of Southern Africa
(MISA) and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human
Rights (ZLHR).7

Select target paragraph3