By Leopold Munhende
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa was Thursday caught lying to the world his administration has scrapped off two of the country’s most notorious laws.
Mnangagwa was speaking in an address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York.
The Zimbabwe leader, who found himself addressing a handful of delegates in the usually full 1 800-seater auditorium, said the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act as well as the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) have been repealed while new laws had already been enacted.
Both AIPPA and POSA have not been repealed with POSA having been used recently to stop opposition demonstrations across the country.
Three Bills have been gazetted to replace AIPPA but none of the three has been passed into law yet.
“Progress has also been achieved in the area of political reforms and legislative reforms. To date, the alignment of most of our laws to the constitution is almost complete.
“We commend the support we continue to receive from the UNDP and other stakeholders,” said Mnangagwa, who has been given political, economic and legislative reforms as a condition for re-engagement by America and Europe.
He added, “The outdated media laws, Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) and old POSA have been repealed, new laws in relation to these areas have been enacted.”
Parliament’s Information and Media Parliamentary Portfolio Committee chair, Prince Dubeko Sibanda told NewZimbabwe.com that none of the laws cited by Mnangagwa have been repealed.
“Obviously what he said is a lie. While the amendment to the POSA has gone through the Parliament stages, it has not yet been repealed.
“That is why police used it a few weeks ago to bar MDC demonstrations,” said Sibanda.
He added that none of the three Bills set to replace AIPPA had even been read in parliament.
“And as for AIPPA, the first of the three Bills repealing it has not yet been read in parliament.”
Addressing a media stakeholders meeting in Mutare Thursday, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa hailed President Mnangagwa as a “genuine reformer”.
“I want to give an assurance from the outset. President Mnangagwa is a genuine and committed reformer. This came from the briefing he gave me as he assigned me to my new ministerial task.
“He wants Zimbabweans to fully enjoy the freedoms they entrenched in the 2013 Constitution of which he was one of the legal brains at the forefront,” said Mutsvangwa.