Media Practitioners Bill, 2010
Freedom of expression and of the Press is an essential pillar of any modern democratic society, because citizens must be able to discuss national issues freely, and to read and hear differing opinions. If a government is not open to scrutiny by a free Press it will become complacent, autocratic and despotic. At the same time, however, Press freedom must be subject to some restraint in order to protect legitimate interests such as personal privacy, legitimacy and the right to a fair trial.
Zimbabwe is a party to at least two international instruments drawn up in Africa, which emphasise the importance of freedom of expression. The first is the Declaration on the Principles of Freedom of Expression in Africa, approved by the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in October, 2002, in Banjul, the Gambia. The second is the SADC Protocol on Culture, Information and Sport, which was signed at Blantyre, Malawi, in August 2002.