Meanwhile, Zanu PF now commands a two-thirds majority in the Parliament of Zimbabwe. This has shifted
the political levers from the previously hung parliament that operated through consensus to a monolithic
establishment that can easily rule through its single party majority.
In essence, this development has pulled Zimbabwe back to the period prior to the year 2000 when Zanu PF
was a hegemonic political party that ruled through its party parliamentary caucuses and whipping system.
This contrasts sharply with the previous setup during the Government of National Unity (GNU) when none
of the parties commanded a two-thirds majority and tended to make decisions through consultative
leadership and consensus.
The obtaining situation comes on the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s new homegrown Constitution which, among
other progressive provisions, for the first time now explicitly guarantees the right to media freedom and
citizens’ right to access to information.
While this development offers immense opportunity for the realignment of the country’s repressive media
laws with the new constitutional provisions, there is fear that Zanu PF, through its two-thirds majority might
scupper or torpedo progress towards that eventuality.
The endorsement of the Draft Constitution by the Parliament of Zimbabwe and its subsequent signing into
law by President Robert Mugabe following the Constitutional Referendum raised immense hope for media
legislative reforms ahead of the country’s general elections.
This hope was hinged on the fact that the new constitution, for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe, now
provides for explicit provisions that guarantee media freedom and citizens’ right to access to information.
The expectation was that the Parliament of Zimbabwe would therefore seize the opportunity of the new
constitutional dispensation to audit with the aim of repealing or amending laws that impinge on media
freedom, freedom of expression and access to information.
The urgency for these envisaged media reforms were agreed to in the context of Zimbabwe’s 2013 Election
Roadmap and reiterated several times through the mediation of SADC facilitator on the Zimbabwean crisis,
South African President Jacob Zuma, as key to the holding of free, fair and credible elections in Zimbabwe.
Existing laws such as AIPPA, Public Order and Security Act (POSA), Criminal Law (Codification and
Reform) Act, Broadcasting Services Act (BSA), Censorship and Entertainment Controls Act, Interception of
Communications Act, Official Secrets Act and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Act, among others, immediately
stick out as some of the laws crying for wholesale repeal or amendment of some of their provisions.

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