Future of Daily News remains in limbo


0

The future of the Daily News remained unclear after the Supreme Court reserved its judgement on the paper’s challenge that some of the provisions of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act under which it was banned in September 2003 were unconstitutional.

The court did not give any indication of when the ruling would be made.

The Media and Information Commission which has the responsibility of registering media houses appealed against a ruling by the Administrative Court that the paper should be allowed to publish.

The Supreme Court accepted  the arguments of Eric Matinenga and Chris Andersen,lawyers for Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe, publishers of the Daily News, that ANZ was entitled to challenge the constitutionality of AIPPA since it had complied with the provisions of AIPPA by applying to the MIC for registration.

The Supreme Court had rejected ANZ’s constitutional challenge of AIPPA in September 2003 because it had not registered as a media house and was coming to the court with “dirty hands”.

 

Full cable:s


Viewing cable 04HARARE409, SUPREME COURT RESERVES JUDGMENT ON ANZ

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

04HARARE409

2004-03-05 10:40

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

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

 

051040Z Mar 04

C O N F I D E N T I A L HARARE 000409

 

SIPDIS

 

AF/PD FOR DFOLEY, CDALTON

NSC FOR SENIOR AFRICA DIRECTOR J. FRAZER, D. TEITELBAUM

LONDON FOR C. GURNEY

PARIS FOR C. NEARY

NAIROBI FOR T. PFLAUMER

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/31/2014

TAGS: KPAO PGOV PHUM PINR ZI

SUBJECT: SUPREME COURT RESERVES JUDGMENT ON ANZ

CONSOLIDATED APPEAL

 

REF: A. HARARE 315

 

B. HARARE 302

C. HARARE 223

 

Classified By: Political Officer Audu Besmer for reasons 1.5 b/d

 

1. (U) SUMMARY: On March 3, the Supreme Court reserved

judgment on the Associated Newspapers of Zimbabwe (ANZ)

consolidated appeal (Ref C). The court gave no indication of

when it would give its ruling. END SUMMARY.

 

2. (U) The hearing consisted of a constitutional challenge by

the ANZ of nine provisions of the Access to Information and

Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), and an appeal by the Media

and Information Commission (MIC) against the October 2003

Administrative Court judgment that ANZ could publish and the

MIC was improperly constituted.

 

3. (U) The court accepted ANZ attorneys Eric Matinenga and

Chris Andersen’s arguments that ANZ was entitled to challenge

the constitutionality of AIPPA since it had complied with the

provisions of AIPPA by applying to the MIC for registration.

The Supreme Court had rejected ANZ’s constitutional challenge

of AIPPA in September 2003 because it had not registered as a

media house and was coming to the court with “dirty hands”.

 

4. (U) Challenging nine provisions of AIPPA, but focusing on

the provisions that compel media houses to register with the

MIC, ANZ attorneys argued that AIPPA’s wording makes

registration more than a mere formality. On February 5 the

Supreme Court ruled that the provision in AIPPA that

compelled journalists to seek accreditation was

constitutional since it was a “mere formality”. ANZ

attorneys also argued that AIPPA grants Information Minister

Jonathan Moyo unreasonable power to appoint, suspend and

dismiss any member of the MIC.

 

5. (U) In its appeal against the October 2003 Administrative

Court decision that ANZ could publish, that MIC should have

registered ANZ, and that MIC was improperly constituted, MIC

attorney Johannes Tomana argued that the court should have

referred the matter back to the MIC for further

consideration, instead of allowing the ANZ to publish without

being registered.

 

6. (SBU) ANZ lawyer Mordecai Mahlangu said the ANZ legal team

was happy with the court,s attitude towards ANZ,s

constitutional challenge. He thought there was a good chance

the court might strike down some sections of AIPPA concerning

registration of media houses. He described the courtroom as

a “positive atmosphere” and said the judges subjected MIC

attorney Tomana to intense questioning.

 

7. (SBU) Mahlangu was not pleased, however, with the court’s

reaction to the MIC appeal of the October 2003 Administrative

Court decision. He commented that the court appeared to be

inclined to refer ANZ’s registration and the constitution of

MIC back to MIC for further consideration.

 

Comment:

——–

 

8. (SBU) The Supreme Court ruling, whenever it comes, will be

an important chapter in the fate of ANZ. However, even if

ANZ were successful in striking down some parts of AIPPA,

past experience suggests that the GOZ would simply pass new

provisions that maintain and bolster AIPPA’s controlling

features. If indeed the Court refered ANZ’s registration

back to MIC, and in any event with a delayed decision on the

constitutionality of the AIPPA provisions concerning

registration, the prospects for TDN to hit the streets any

time soon appear very unlikely.

SULLIVAN

(27 VIEWS)

Don't be shellfish... Please SHARETweet about this on Twitter
Twitter
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Share on LinkedIn
Linkedin
Email this to someone
email
Print this page
Print

Like it? Share with your friends!

0
Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *