Zim court lifts ban on censored Democrats documentary

A ZIMBABWEAN court on Thursday 08 February 2018 lifted a ban, which had been imposed by the government on the screening of ‘Democrats’, a documentary film narrating the Constitution making process in Zimbabwe.

The Board of Censors had in 2015 banned Upfront Films, a leading film company based in Denmark, which produced the documentary from screening ‘Democrats’ after alleging that the film was unfit for viewership within the country.

Upfront Films, a leading film company based in Denmark, which produced the documentary had sought permission from the Board of Censors to distribute copies of digital video discs (DVD)s of the documentary film Democrats, which documented a crucial era in Zimbabwe’s history.

But the Board of Censors turned down Upfront Film’s application for the distribution of free copies of ‘Democrats’.

This compelled Upfront Films, which was represented by Chris Mhike and Bellinda Chinowawa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, to file an application in the High Court challenging the ban.

On Thursday 08 February 2018, Justice Esther Muremba lifted the ban previously imposed by the Board of Censors and granted a consent order to the effect that the Board of Censors should immediately lift the ban that had been imposed on the film ‘Democrats’ and issue an unconditional certificate which authorises Upfront Films to distribute and exhibit the film ‘Democrats’ to members of the public.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights

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