Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku, has set aside the
state-controlled Media and Information Commission’s (MIC) ban on senior
journalist Brian Hungwe from practicing journalism, writes Torby

Delivering his ruling in chambers, Chidyausiku said: “I am satisfied that in suspending the applicant (Hungwe) the then MIC did not comply with Section 85 (3) of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

The court noted that the mandatory disciplinary process was not complied with. It further observed that the AIPPA Amendment Act which came into law on 11 January 2008, dissolved the MIC in whose place should now be the Zimbabwe Media Commission empowered to deal with the matters in question.

The ZMC is still to be constituted.

Hungwe applied for accreditation around the 5th of January 2007. Six months later, in July 2007 he received notice to appear before a hearing in respect of the application.

On 18 September 2008 following notification of the hearing for his accreditation, he received a letter from the Commission to which was attached a “disciplinary determination” which found Hungwe guilty of contravening Sections 79 (5) and 90 of AIPPA Chapter 10:27. The determination resulted in the one-year ban against Hungwe.