The Zimbabwe government gazetted the Commentary on the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill (hereinafter the Bill) on 9 August 2019. This relatively short Bill seeks to give effect to Sections 61, 248 and 249 of Zimbabwe’s 2013 Constitution. Section 61 of the Constitution is on the right to freedom of expression and freedom of the media while Sections 248 and 249 set out the establishment, composition, and functions of the Zimbabwe Media Commission.
In addition to giving effect to the constitutional provisions set out above, the Bill also seeks to regularise the establishment of the Zimbabwe Media Commission. The Zimbabwe Media Commission was originally established in terms of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (hereinafter AIPPA) when the law was introduced in 2001. The composition and functions of the Zimbabwe Media Commission are set out in AIPPA.
Chapter 12 of the Constitution lists the Zimbabwe Media Commission as one of the country’s independent Commissions set up to support democracy in Zimbabwe. Once passed into law, the current Bill will replace those parts of AIPPA that deal with the Zimbabwe Media Commission and its functions.