Zim govt to repeal press law that saw journos arrested, newspaper shut down

The decision may well be part of the authorities’ keenness to present a friendlier side following a huge outcry after the recent security clampdown.

FILE: President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Picture: AFP

HARARE - Zimbabwe’s government says that it will repeal a notorious press law introduced more than a decade ago which saw dozens of journalists arrested and foreign correspondents deported.

State media says the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act shows the government is determined to embark on much-needed reforms but already there are hints that new laws will be brought in to replace it.

The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act came into force 16 years ago.

Championed by former information minister Jonathan Moyo, it resulted in newspapers being closed and the arrests of dozens of reporters.

But on Tuesday, and as promised, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet finally resolved to repeal it.

The decision may well be part of the authorities’ keenness to present a friendlier side following a huge outcry after the recent security clampdown.

But the press law is to be replaced with three other bills and legal experts will be closely monitoring to see whether the new laws also hinder press freedom.