THE Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ) says Information minister Tichaona Jokonya has the power to appoint an ad hoc committee to deal with its registration after the Media and Information Commission (MIC) was disqualified by the courts due to perce
The ANZ, publishers of the closed Daily News and Daily News on Sunday, said this in court papers in response to a filing by Jokonya.
Jokonya said in papers he had filed earlier that he was unable to appoint another committee in line with a court judgement as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) did not provide for that.
The minister said the media law would have to be amended first before he could do so.
Jokonya and the MIC are the first and second respondents while the ANZ is the sole applicant in an application where it seeks to be deemed registered by the court.
In court documents, ANZ’s acting chief executive officer, John Gambanga, said Jokonya could appoint a committee because the MIC as presently constituted was an ad hoc committee that was appointed for a six-month term after the expiry of its statutory three years in office.
“I do not accept that second respondent is disabled from appointing another membership of the first respondent ad hoc or otherwise to deal with this matter,” said Gambanga. “Effectively the current membership of the first respondent is ad hoc in that its term of office has in fact expired and was only extended for a limited period.”
He said Jokonya and the MIC’s conduct had left the ANZ to conclude that they wanted to ensure that “the Daily News and the Daily News on Sunday are never ever printed and published in Zimbabwe”.
He also said claims that Aippa needed to be amended first to comply with a directive to constitute another body not tainted by bias was an attempt to ensure that the matter was not urgently resolved.
“The government of Zimbabwe has on many occasions resorted to the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to urgently amend or create legislation whenever it wished,” Gambanga said.