•. . . amendments to Police Act get nod • Reform agenda on course
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Cabinet yesterday resolved to repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and amend the Police Act as the Second Republic demonstrates determination to embark on reforms through aligning laws to the Constitution.
The repeal of AIPPA will give rise to three legal instruments — the Access to Information Bill, the Zimbabwe Media Commission Bill and the Protection of Personal Information/Data Protection Bill.
This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa while addressing the media during a weekly briefing on Cabinet deliberations.
“Cabinet considered principles for the repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, commonly known as AIPPA, presented by the Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
In yesterday’s meeting, only the principles of the Bill to introduce the Zimbabwe Media Commission were considered, said the minister.
“Cabinet noted that the proposed amendment is in fulfilment of the requirement to align the country’s laws to the Constitution and to deepen the country’s democratic processes and accordingly approved the principles,” she said.
Minister Mutsvangwa said her ministry would expeditiously constitute boards for the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) and ZMC.
She said following a presentation by Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Cain Mathema on principles for the amendment of the Police Act to align it with the Constitution, Cabinet approved the principles paving way for the drafting of the actual Bill.
Responding to questions, Minister Mathema said most amendments to the Act were administrative as it sought to clarify different roles of various office holders such as the Police Commissioner-General, Police Service Commission, the responsible Minister and the President.
On reforms of State enterprises, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet resolved to retain the State Lotteries and Gaming Board after it was noted that it was operating viably.
Cabinet was also briefed about meetings held between striking teachers unions and the Primary and Secondary Education Minister Professor Paul Mavima, which saw an agreement to call off the industrial action reached.
“Cabinet commended the unions for heeding the call to prioritise the interests of the learners as well as the country and reiterated Government’s commitment to the improvement of the teachers working conditions,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo briefed Cabinet on the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,
from 10 to 11 February 2019.
The summit was held under the theme “Year of Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons: Towards Durable Solutions to Forces Displacement in Africa”.
President Mnangagwa attended the summit.
Cabinet was also briefed on a number of meetings President Mnangagwa held on the sidelines of the summit.
In Addis Ababa, President Mnangagwa met Ethiopian Airlines chief executive officer Mr Tewolde Gebremarian, Eastern and Southern Africa Trade and Development Bank president Admassu Tadesse.
The bank made a commitment to arrange lines of credit worth at least $500 million while the Ethiopians offered a partnership with Air Zimbabwe.
President Mnangagwa also had engagements with Mr Achim Steiner, an administrator with the United Nations Development Programme, who expressed willingness to assist Zimbabwe in mobilising resources for the benefit of youths and women.