HARARE, May 1 — The Zimbabwe government will align the country’s media laws to the new Constitution after it receives a report from the panel of inquiry which is conducting investigations around the country, says Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Principal Director Regis Chikowore.

Speaking at a conference on media laws research findings here Wednesday, he added that the realignment of the laws with the Constitution would be done after the independent media panel had concluded on-going investigations.

“The government took a position that all Ministries should realign laws with the Constitution. It is work in progress. We have started with investigations which a team of inquiry is undertaking. We are looking at July for receiving their response then we will be able to give a time-frame to realign media laws with the Constitution,” he added.

The research findings conference is part of the programme lined up for celebrations of Press Freedom Week.
It was held to facilitate dialogue on the analysis of the gap in Zimbabwe’s media laws which would inform the process of realigning them with the new Constitution.

The research findings presented at the conference recommended that the government should have a specific position on pieces of legislation governing the media.

Chikowore said the findings of the research would feed into the programmes the Ministry had already started, including the review of all media laws which might need to be repealed, amended or improved.

The government had recently been sending conflicting signals on whether it wanted to retain criminal defamation laws on its statutes in light of the provisions of the new Constitution. Justice Minister Emerson Mnangagwa recently defended the law while Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said the government was opposed to it.

Zimbabwean media practitioners will on Saturday join others in the profession around the world in commemorating Press Freedom Day.