HomePoliticsApplying lipstick to a frog'

Applying lipstick to a frog’


Gift Phiri

GOVERNMENT has announced its intention to present to parliament further amendments to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act a).



T face=”Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif”>According to an extraordinary Government Gazette published last Friday, Information minister Jonathan Moyo intends to amend Sections 40 (2) and 83 of the Act. The amendments to Section 40 (2) propose that some members of the board of the commission be appointed from nominees of an association of journalists and an association of media houses.


Amendments to Section 83 envisage the inclusion of a penalty provision for unaccredited or suspended journalists who are caught practising. The proposed amendments envisage that any person who contravenes the section be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.


The planned revision of the Act comes in the wake of the forced closure of three newspapers, the Daily News, the Daily News On Sunday and the Tribune. Analysts point out that the changes are meant to stop journalists from these newspapers from working for foreign publications.


“It is disheartening to note that after the closure of these newspapers, the government continues on its warpath against freedom of expression by criminalising the journalism profession,” said Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in a statement. “It is the view of the coalition that the proposed amendments to Aippa would not make it a good law. It is like applying lipstick on a frog.”

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