World Press Freedom Day: Zim still holds ‘hostile’ media laws

Rights lawyers say Zimbabwe is not a safe place for journalists, bloggers or citizens to express themselves.

Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - On World Press Freedom Day, Zimbabwean rights groups have slammed President Robert Mugabe's government for keeping restrictive press laws on the books.

Rights lawyers in the country say Zimbabwe is not a safe place for journalists, bloggers or citizens to peacefully express themselves.

Zimbabwe's Lawyers for Human Rights say the country still has what it calls a minefield of hostile media laws.

It says strict press laws like the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act should be harmonised with the new Constitution, which guarantees freedom of expression.

Local media laws have been used in the past 14 years to shut down newspapers and curb the spread of independent radio stations.

The Zimbabwe chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa says in a statement that the government's threats against media freedom go against citizens' rights to free expression.