EX.CL/717 (XX) Page 42 Communication 305/05 - ARTICLE 19 and Others v Zimbabwe Summary of the Complaint 1. The Complaint is filed by ARTICLE 19, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) of Zimbabwe, the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, Gerry Jackson and Michael Auret Jr. (herein after referred to as the Complainants) against the Republic of Zimbabwe (the Respondent State) in accordance with Article 55 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (the Charter). 2. The Complainants aver that Capital Radio Private Limited (CRPL) is a private company incorporated in the Respondent State seeking to provide broadcasting services within Zimbabwe. They submit that despite repeated efforts, CRPL still cannot broadcast in Zimbabwe due to legal restrictions and political opposition that allows the state broadcaster to enjoy broadcasting monopoly. 3. It is further alleged that on 22 September 2000, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe ruled, in a matter in which CRPL challenged the constitutionality of this monopoly, that Section 27 of the Broadcasting Act was unconstitutional on the grounds that it was inconsistent with Section 20(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which guarantees the right of freedom of expression. The Supreme Court also struck down Sections 14(1) and 14(2) of the Radio-communication Service Act (RSA) on the same ground, and expressly pronounced that CRPL was legally entitled to broadcast in Zimbabwe and in accordance with the law can import any broadcasting equipment into Zimbabwe. 4. The Complainants aver that on 25 September 2000, the Respondent State publicly responded to the ruling of the Supreme Court by stating that the public broadcaster would continue its broadcasting monopoly and that a new legislation would be enacted to regulate the broadcasting sector.2 The Minister of State for Information and Publicity (the Minister) is said to have publicly announced that CRPL would not be permitted to broadcast.3 5. Despite the statements by the Respondent State and the Minister in particular, CRPL proceeded to exercise its newly recognized right to broadcast. It imported broadcasting equipment into Zimbabwe and began broadcasting a test signal on 28 September 2000 from an office in Eastgate shopping centre Harare. 6. However, the Directors of CRPL quickly realized that the location was not ideal for broadcasting and thus, on the following day, 29 September, CRPL, relocated to 2 3 Media Rights Agenda, Media Right Monitor, November 2000 No 5(11) p 22 available at: http://mediarightsagenda.org. See also International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), ‘State broadcaster to continue with monopoly’ 25 September 2000 http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/11575, submitted by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA). IFEX Update ‘Court Orders return of confiscated equipment’ 6 October 2000 http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/11680 submitted by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

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