Home » General » Align Media Laws to New Constitution, State Told

Government should urgently align media laws to the new Constitution, the Information and Media Panel of Inquiry heard yesterday.

This came out at IMPI public meetings in Harare and Seke.

“There is need to realign the media laws with the new Constitution,” said Patience Zirima, a media practitioner.

“It’s really urgent for the Government to now seriously realign these laws in terms of those laws, specifically promoting decriminalisation of these laws.”

Journalist Nkululeko Sibanda said there was need for Government to repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, while Rejoice Ngwenya said Government should allow the media to regulate itself through the Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe.

“The Companies Act should be sufficient for someone to start a media business. Access to information is a constitutional right so there is no need to create these massive barriers. We need to generate competition although we need some sort of control.”

Buhera South legislator Cde Joseph Chinotimba (zanu-pf) urged the media to be truthful and factual.

Other issues raised included the need for Government to come up with media policies to address disparities between men and women, the need to improve journalists’ conditions of service, and for Government to ensure that media businesses were viable.

Government was also urged to consider establishing a Film Commission to improve broadcast products.

The media inquiry, which will submit a report to Government in the next two months and is chaired by journalist Geoff Nyarota, also held meetings in Mbare and Dema where similar issues were raised.

Source : The Herald