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New information and communications technology bill proposed

Following years of pushing for the adoption of an independent unitary body responsible for the regulation of the telecommunications and broadcasting sector in Zimbabwe, including recent high profile advocacy meetings with the Minister of Information Technology and ICTs, Hon Nelson Chamisa, MISA-Zimbabwe notes with interest the announcement of a new Information and Communications Technology Bill.

The proposed law would include among its major objectives the merging of the existing information and communication laws and the repealing of the Broadcasting Services Act and Postal and Telecommunications Act.

The Bill provides for the establishment of a converged communications authority called the National Information and Communications Technology Authority of Zimbabwe, which would be responsible for the licensing and regulation of telecommunications as well as broadcasting and postal services. In addition, the Bill would provide for the regulation of electronic communications and transactions.

The Bill does not propose a repeal of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), however, but it does provide for its amendment.

The Authority would exercise licensing and regulatory functions in respect of information and communications services in Zimbabwe, including the determination of types and classes of licensees and the approval process, tariffs and alterations thereto. It would also allocate, manage, review the frequency spectrum and license the users of the frequency spectrum, including broadcasters and signal careers.

If the Bill is enacted into law, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe (BAZ) would cease to exist as it would be superseded by the Authority, which would assume all the basic functions of the former body.

To read more about the Bill, click here:

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