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MISA Zimbabwe approves of media clauses in draft constitution

A media advocacy organisation, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) has welcomed the new media reforms enshrined in the new draft constitution.

Speaking at the Bulawayo Press Club on Tuesday, MISA senior programmes officer Nyasha Nyakunu said they were happy with the proposed provisions in the new draft concerning the media sector.

It is pleasing to note that the draft explicitly guarantees freedom of the press and also recognises freedom of artistic expression, which is a departure from the previous constitution,” said Nyakunu.

He said their immediate mandate now was to ensure that the enabling provisions included in the new constitution were put into reality after the referendum.

Chapter Four of the constitution provides for freedom of expression and freedom of the media.

Section (4)(1) outlines that every person has the right to freedom of expression, which includes (a) freedom to seek, receive and communicate ideas and other information, (b) freedom of artistic expression and scientific research and creativity and (c) academic freedom.

Every person is entitled to freedom of the media, which freedom includes protection of the confidentiality of journalists’ sources of information,” reads subsection two of the section.

The new draft also says that broadcasting and other electronic media of communication have freedom of establishment, subject only to State licensing procedures that (a) are necessary to regulate the airwaves and other forms of signal distribution and (b) are independent of control by government or by political or commercial interests.

The GPA principals recently brought to an end a six-month deadlock between partners in the inclusive Government over some provisions in the draft constitution.

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