Despite being labelled as a media hangman for ‘his’ draconian legislations during his tenure as Media and Information minister in the early 2000s, self-exiled political figure Professor Jonathan Moyo blames former minister Patrick Chinamasa and the late Edison Zvobgo for the introduction of the widely criticized Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA).
Moyo, who fled the country after the November 2017 coup that ousted Robert Mugabe and replaced him with his longtime understudy Emmerson Mnangagwa, used evidence from Hansard to absolve himself of any wrongdoing in the birth of AIPPA (see attached images).
He made the remarks on the sidelines of the World Press Freedom Day, commemorated annually on May 3.
“On this World Press Day, let me place on record the Hansard evidence which shows that: AIPPA was steered in Parliament by Patrick Chinamasa (“on behalf of the Minister of Information”) and (that) AIPPA was unanimously voted (and) passed in Parliament with no opposition or abstention!” Moyo tweeted.
But another Twitter user said AIPPA was Moyo’s brainchild, adding that the late Zvobgo who was then parly’s legal committee chair expressed dissatisfaction over the new draconian legislation.
“Prof you are revising history. You introduced AIPPA in December 2001 to parliament (and) it was rejected. It was your brainchild. Even Zvobgo then the chair of the Legal Committee said you were granting yourself frightening powers with a law that violated 20 clauses of constitution,” he said.
But Moyo responded saying Zvobgo and MDC-Alliance deputy leader Professor Welshman Ncube also sat in the Chinamasa-chaired subcommittee of the Parliamentary Legal Committee ‘which drafted the law.’
He even blames the late Zvobgo for bringing about a clause which created the dictatorial executive presidency in 1987, barely seven years after Zimbabwe was freed from the jaws of the brutish British regime.
“The irony of course is that he (Zvobgo and) Chinamasa not only drafted AIPPA the law but it’s the same Zvobgo who crafted (and) steered through Parliament the obnoxious Constitution Amendment No. 7 that created the Executive Presidency in 1987 (and) concentrated all power in an imperial President!” Moyo said.