Zimbabwe: Freedom of Information Bill signed into law
The Office of the President and the Cabinet ('OPC') announced, on 2 July 2020, that the Freedom of Information Bill had received final approval by the President and became law, with the Media Institute of Southern Africa Zimbabwe ('MISA Zimbabwe') making a statement on the same. In particular, the promulgation of the Freedom of Information Act ('the Act') repealed the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), providing citizens and media practitioners with the right to access information and creating legal frameworks and mechanisms for accessing information from public and private bodies. In addition, the Act provides that private entities will fall under the same rules as public institutions when individual rights are involved, with MISA Zimbabwe noting that Section 7 of the Act, which provides for requests of access to information, does not apply to private entities. Moreover, MISA Zimbabwe highlighted that the Act seeks to give effect to the constitutional rights on freedom of expression, media freedom and access to information held by entities to promote public accountability and the exercise of rights.