Search

 

Cablegate: Media Report Media Bill; Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

311315Z Jan 02


UNCLASSIFIED PTO7908

PAGE 01 HARARE 00287 311906Z
ACTION AF-00

INFO LOG-00 CIAE-00 DODE-00 SRPP-00 EUR-00 UTED-00 VC-00
H-01 TEDE-00 INR-00 L-00 AC-01 NSAE-00 OMB-01
PA-00 PM-00 PRS-00 ACE-00 P-00 SP-00 SS-00
TRSE-00 T-00 USIE-00 PMB-00 DRL-02 G-00 SAS-00
/005W
------------------603692 311906Z /03
FM AMEMBASSY HARARE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0847
INFO NSC WASHDC
AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
AMEMBASSY LUSAKA
AMEMBASSY WINDHOEK
AMEMBASSY GABORONE
AMEMBASSY LILONGWE
AMEMBASSY LONDON

UNCLAS HARARE 000287

SIPDIS

AF/PD FOR COX, ROBERTSON, SCHLACHTER, AF/S FOR KRAFT, AF/P,
INR/R/MR, NSC FOR JENDAYI FRAZER

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ZI PREL PHUM
SUBJECT: MEDIA REPORT MEDIA BILL; HARARE


1. DESPITE 36 AMENDMENTS, MORE THAN 20 SECTIONS OF THE
CONTROVERSIAL ACCESS TO INFORMATION AND PROTECTION OF
PRIVACY BILL REMAIN UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THIS WAS SAID BY THE
CHAIRMAN OF THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE, MR. EDDISON
ZVOBGO (ZANU PF, MASVINGO SOUTH), IN PARLIAMENT ON JANUARY
29 WHEN HE PRESENTED AN ADVERSE REPORT WHICH DECLARED THAT
MOST OF THE CLAUSES IN THE AMENDED BILL INFRINGED THE
CONSTITUTION, ESPECIALLY SECTION 20 ON THE FREEDOM OF
EXPRESSION. "THE BILL IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM WAS THE MOST
CALCULATED AND DETERMINED ASSAULT ON OUR LIBERTIES
GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION IN THE 20 YEARS I SERVED AS
CABINET MINISTER AND AS A MEMBER OF THE CABINET COMMITTEE
ON LEGISLATION FOR 16 OF THOSE YEARS. WHAT IS WORSE, THE
BILL WAS BADLY DRAFTED IN THAT SEVERAL PROVISIONS WERE
OBSCURE, VAGUE, ILL CONCEIVED AND DANGEROUS," ZVOBGO TOLD
PARLIAMENT. ALTHOUGH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, MR. ANDREW
CHIGOVERA, DEFENDED SOME OF THE CLAUSES SAYING THEY WERE
CONSTITUTIONAL AND JUSTIFIABLE IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY,
BOTH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AND JUSTICE, LEGAL AND
PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS MINISTER PATRICK CHINAMASA ALSO
CONCEDED SOME OF THE PROVISIONS WERE POSITIVELY
UNCONSTITUTIONAL. HOWEVER THE GOVERNMENT AND THE
PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE ARE EXPECTED TO MEET THIS
MORNING (JANUARY 30) TO RESOLVE THE DEADLOCK BY DISCUSSING
THEIR CONCERNS AND POSSIBLY COME UP WITH FURTHER AMENDMENTS
FOR DEBATE WHEN PARLIAMENT MEETS IN THE AFTERNOON.

2. EXCERPTS FROM THE PARLIAMENTARY LEGAL COMMITTEE'S
REPORT FOLLOW:

". . .THE ORIGINAL BILL WAS MANIFESTLY
UNCONSTITUTIONAL. . .I CAN SAY WITHOUT EQUIVOCATION SAY
UNCLASSIFIED

PAGE 03 HARARE 00287 311906Z
THAT, THIS BILL, IN ITS ORIGINAL FORM WAS THE MOST
CALCULATED AND DETERMINED ASSAULT ON OUR LIBERTIES
GUARANTEED BY THE CONSTITUTION, IN THE 20 YEARS I
SERVED AS CABINET MINISTER AND AS A MEMBER OF THE
CABINET COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATION FOR 16 YEARS OF THOSE
YEARS. WHAT IS WORSE, THE BILL WAS BADLY DRAFTED IN
THAT SEVERAL PROVISIONS WERE 'OBSCURE, VAGUE, OVER-
BROAD IN SCOPE, ILL-CONCEIVED AND DANGEROUS.' YOUR
COMMITTEE EXPRESSES ITS GRATITUDE TO THE LEADER OF THE
HOUSE. . .HONORABLE PATRICK CHINAMASA, FOR HIS
UNSTINTING HEROISM, THROUGH AMENDMENTS, TO GIVE THIS
BILL A HUMAN FACE. WE APPLAUD THE EFFORT AS HIS
MINISTRY WAS ABLE TO AMEND, REPEAL, RE-WORD SEVERAL
PROVISIONS, WHICH WERE BLATANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. IT
IS A MATTER FOR REGRET THAT SOME UNCONSTITUTIONAL
PROVISIONS STILL REMAIN. IT IS FOR THAT REASON THAT
THE BILL REMAINS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. THE MOST OFFENDING
CLAUSES ARE 14, 37, 40, 47, 52, 54, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71,
72, 73, 74, 75, 77, 80, 82, 86, AND 93. AT STAKE ARE
THE PROTECTIONS OF ZIMBABWEANS ENSHRINED IN SECTIONS
16, 18 AND 20 OF THE CONSTITUTION. . .YOUR COMMITTEE
CONSIDERS THAT THERE IS ABUNDANT EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT AN
ADVERSE REPORT. WE ARE NOT A COURT OF LAW. IF IT
PLEASES THE HOUSE TO OVERRIDE OUR REPORT, WE WILL
REMAIN COMFORTED IN THE VIEW THAT WE DISCHARGED OUR
BURDEN TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY."

SULLIVAN

UNCLASSIFIED

>

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

UN Report: Civilian Casualties Surged After Peace Talks Began In Afghanistan

Monitoring by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and the UN Human Rights Office has revealed that despite a drop in civilians killed and injured overall in 2020 there was a rise in civilian casualties following the start of peace negotiations ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs


2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>


Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at webtv.un.org UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>

WeBeliev: Scoop In Conversation With Abhishek Sinha, Founder Of WeBeliev, An NZ Crowdfunding Platform

WeBeliev supports 17 SDGs, launching sector specific campaigns every month Q. What is WeBeliev and why did you start it? A. WeBeliev is a Singapore-registered crowdfunding platform aimed at fundraising for all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ... More>>