Over the years, SAPST has been instrumental in strengthening Parliament in Zimbabwe through training and assisting parliamentary committees with technical resources to enable them to execute Parliament’s constitutional mandate.
The organisation has played a critical role in enhancing the capacity of Parliamentary committees to scrutinise existing legislation and proposed legislation, budgets and other key policy documents and perform effective oversight.
In this regard, SAPST conducted a breakfast meeting for the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Media and Broadcasting Services recently.
The meeting was meant to unpack the Freedom of Information Bill, one of the three Bills that were developed from the unbundling of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). Unpacking of a Bill ensures a better understanding its before conducting public hearings.
The new Bill will repeal AIPPA and seeks to give effect to the right of access to information in section 62 of the Constitution. The Bill also provides procedural mechanisms for access to information.
Committee Chairperson, Hon. Prince Dubeko Sibanda (MDC-A Binga North) gave the opening remarks before SAPST Program Advisor Mr Muziri took the Committee through the Bill.
The session was interactive and Committee members both from ZANU PF and the opposition party expressed commitment to make changes to the new Bill and repeal AIPPA.
The Committee acknowledged that AIPPA was a restrictive law which needed to be changed as soon as possible. The Committee is expected to conduct public hearings in August to gather public views on the Freedom of Information Bill