It is a good thing that we have the National Archives Act in Zimbabwe but as I was reading through I found few weakness.Firstly,the act do not put the Provincial Archives or Records Centers under the control of the Archives Director,actually the act is silent on that.Its only that we have sincere and faithful regional archivist and records officers,if they were not they were going to make those centers private institutions
Secondly,the Zimbabwe Archives Act is silent on issues of Electronic Records.It doesn't explain how electronic records should be preserved despite the fact that government offices are generating a lot of electronic records in form of websites,emails,storage medias such as compact disks etc.The Archives Act should have put a standard under which electronic records should be created and maintained.It should also have directed what sort of electronic records are admissible in a court of law.
Thirdly,the Archives Act is unclear on the duties of the records committee,I mean its functions.It says this committee gives advice to the Archives Director on issues to do with records management.IT goes on to say some of the members of the Records Committee are appointed by the Archives Director from the Archives staff.How can a junior officer offer advice to his superior?Do you see it possible?
The National Archives Act is also silent on Records Appraisal.That means it can continue archiving obsolete records,meaning to say it will deny accepting records from agencies due to limited storage space.
The National Archives Act empowers the National Archives Director power over records created by any government depart or ministry but it seems he doest outright power because he needs the consent of the Minister responsible with that Ministry in order for his advice to be effected.That means that Archives law makes the Archives Director a Junior Officer of all Ministries .
The Archives Act places the National Archives of Zimbabwe under the Ministry of Home Affairs,do you think its a relevant ministry.I think the right Ministry is the Ministry of Information and Publicity.Where is the link between the Police and the Archives Institution? It means the Archives will receive insignificant attention from the Minister.
Am I wrong,I stand to be corrected. THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES ACT NEED TO BE REVISITED