1. Introduction
These submissions by MISA Zimbabwe, which is a media freedom, freedom of expression and access to
information lobby and advocacy organisation, are made pursuant to the provisions of the Constitution of
Zimbabwe that requires consultation of citizens in respect of law making by the Parliament of Zimbabwe.

2. Background

Zimbabwe on 5 July 2019 gazetted the Freedom of Information Bill, (House Bill 6 of 2019) (hereinafter
Bill). This is part of government efforts to repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act
(2001) (hereinafter AIPPA).
Introduction of a revised access to information law is consistent with global, regional practices, and furthers
the provisions of the 2013 Constitution of Zimbabwe. The Constitution provides under section 62
(1)-(4) for access to information. The section provides as follows:
(1) Every Zimbabwean citizen or permanent resident, including juristic persons and 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

The gazetted Bill was developed pursuant to these provisions but more specifically as it relates to Section
62 (4), which mandates the State to come up with subsidiary legislation to give effect to the right. It has
been accepted and established as both practice and precedent in law, that enjoyment of freedom of
expression, freedom of the media and right to receive or impart ideas and communication, or right to
participate in the affairs of one’s country cannot be enjoyed or fully exercised without the access to
information right. Further, Section 194 of the Constitution mandates the provision of timely, accessible,
and accurate information to members of the public.


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