HomeLettersJonathan Moyo's mission accomplished

Jonathan Moyo’s mission accomplished



I AM sure that when the government enacted the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act its sole intention was to harass the privately-owned print media.



face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>It stands to reason that the applications for registration by the Herald, the Sunday Mail and other government-owned papers would be rubber-stamped whilst all others would receive a royal runaround.


Aippa, along with its equally odious brother Posa, were enacted solely to enable government to control those newspapers and individuals it perceived as a problem.


Has the Herald or the Sunday Mail or any of their wonderful staffers ever been charged under Posa, even with some of the outrageous lies they peddle? Of course not, they are bullet-proof as they no longer have their own voice.


Whether or not ANZ is guilty of flouting Aippa, the reason for enacting this piece of legislation in the first place needs to be examined.


Laws are put in place for the protection of the public and to create an environment of peace and order, not to repress certain organisations and individuals that will not toe the party line.


If one looks at many of the laws passed since the rise of an effective opposition, both political and social, they were enacted purely to crush resistance. The Rhodesian Front government did the same thing in the 70s and look where it got them.


If the government’s main reason for creating a regulatory body was to monitor fair and accurate reporting, the Media and Information Commission would not be trying to stop the Daily News from registering. Instead it would allow the ANZ to register the Daily News, possibly fining it for contravening the Act. The MIC’s refusal to register the ANZ brings into question their real motives.


Why has the Minister of Information and Publicity in the Office of the President allowed the owners of the Daily News to continue operating for so long after the expiry date for registration with no hint of his usual vitriol, only to pounce on them once the courts had determined that they were operating illegally?


Surely he should have ensured that they were shut down the day after the prescribed deadline. After all, the application of the rule of law is paramount in his eyes.


The court only noted that the ANZ was operating outside the law, a law that was itself in question. If the ANZ felt the law was unfair, to have registered would have been an acceptance of the terms of the law and their case would have been seriously jeopardised.


Surely they have the right to access the courts to question a law before they accept its terms. Once the Supreme Court passed judgement, the ANZ immediately attempted to register to correct the imbalance that existed according to the court’s ruling, showing that they were prepared to play the game.


It has taken Jonathan Moyo three years of hard slog using all the state resources available to him to finally shut the Daily News down. Arrests, intimidation and harassment all failed. His only way was to create a law and use it to silence the opposition.


Now that his personal vendetta is over, he will be at a loss to fill his days meaningfully.


V Goodwin,

Harare.

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