“The ZMC’s decision to deprive citizens of their constitutional right to freely choose their sources of information is a flagrant violation Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the MMPZ said in a statement released on Saturday
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ‘states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression including the right to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontier.’
The ZMC last week said it was banning foreign newspapers because they were failing to register with it to regularize their operations. Such papers include The Zimbabwean, produced by exiles in the United Kingdom, the Sunday Times, The Mail and Guardian and Business Day – all South African newspapers.
But the MMPZ said it “is disappointed that instead of living up to its declared mandate to promote “a free and diverse media environment” in Zimbabwe by campaigning for the repeal of this archaic and repressive pieces of legislation, it has instead, chosen to implement its suffocating and undemocratic provisions to stifle important alternative sources of information.
“Once again, the real purpose of establishing the Commission – to control all media activity and restrict the public’s access to independent sources of news – has been exposed and underlines the urgency with which this inclusive government needs to implement media law reform, starting with the repeal of AIPPA.”