Home » General » Editors Challenge Defamation Laws

The Zimbabwe National Editors’ Forum has resolved to engage lawyers to challenge the constitutionality of criminal defamation on the basis that it is not in tandem with the new Constitution. Editors who attended a ZINEF meeting yesterday, also said the Public Order and Security Act and the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act should be struck off or be re-aligned with the new charter.

The Minister of Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Professor Jonathan Moyo is on record having said criminal defamation laws breached the new Constitution.

Chapter 9:23 of Section 96 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act is due to be repealed as it has been found to be contrary to the Constitution.

Prof Moyo said his ministry reviewed the constitutionality of criminal defamation in terms the new Constitution and concluded there was no legal basis for retaining a law that was against progressive values rooted in the liberation struggle.

ZINEF said in a statement that self-regulation was the best practice for the profession. Lawyer Mr David Tandiri, who spoke at the editors’ meeting on criminal defamation, said the affluent in society were using the law to inhibit freedom of expression.

“The law seeks to protect the society’s best man,” he said. “The right to be informed is threatened by the law and public officials should be open to scrutiny,” he said.

Source : The Herald