An opposition lawmaker is set to table a motion in Parliament to have laws that have severely restricted the freedom of the press repealed, a media watchdog has said.
James Maridadi of MDC, said in an official notice that parts of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) were “in violation of some sections of the new Constitution”, which was adopted after a referendum in 2013, the Media Institute of Southern Africa-Zimbabwe chapter (Misa-Zimbabwe) said in a statement.
Dozens of reporters have been arrested since Aippa was signed into law in 2002. Almost all of them were journalists from the privately-owned press, which had been critical of President Robert Mugabe’s government.
The laws were also used to close down several newspapers at the height of Zimbabwe’s 2000-2008 political and economic crisis. Two of them, the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday, were reopened some time after Aippa was slightly relaxed in 2008.
Zimbabwe’s press remains sharply polarised more than two and a half years after Mugabe was returned to power for the fifth time.
Mugabe’s Zanu PF party has a majority in both houses of Parliament.