On 5 July 2019, the Freedom of Information Bill H.B. 6 of 2019 (the Bill) was gazetted in Zimbabwe. The Bill is intended to give effect to the right of access to information. According to section 41, once in force, the Bill will repeal the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
As explained in the introductory memorandum, the Bill provides for the following:
- The procedure for access to information by citizens and permanent residents in respect of information held by public institutions.
- The procedure for access to information by any person in respect of information held by any person where the information is necessary for the exercise or protection of a right.
- Considerations for voluntarily making available certain categories of information to obviate the need to request such information.
- The scope of limitations on the right of access to information.
- The rights of third parties with respect to any requests for information.
- The role of principle officers and information officers in the implementation of the right to access information.
- The procedures for internal appeals and court appeals.
- The time limits within which processes must be carried out.
- The additional functions of the Human Rights Commission with respect to the right of access to information, which is to be exercised in the normal course of its role as the guardian of human rights.
The Bill is accessible (via Veritas Zimbabwe) here.
Please note: The information contained in this note is for general guidance on matters of interest, and does not constitute legal advice. For any enquiries, please contact us at [email protected].