Zambian journalists excited about Access to Information Bill

Journalists in Zambia on Tuesday welcomed the announcement that cabinet has approved the Access to Information Bill, local media reported.

On Monday, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Dora Siliya said cabinet approved the long-awaited bill during its meeting on Monday.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia Chapter said the bill was meant to promote proactive and organised dissemination of information to the public.

MISA said the announcement was welcome as stakeholders had been waiting for the same bill for years.

Hyde Hanguta, Vice-Chairperson of the media body said stakeholders are finally happy that the bill has been approved although he noted that the battle was not yet over.

Hanguta told journalists that the government should now inform stakeholders on when the bill will be tabled before parliament.

The vice-Chairperson stressed that mere approval by cabinet was not enough.

He further said the government should share with stakeholders the contents of the bill so that they can see what was contained in it in order to avoid speculations.

Stakeholders in Zambia have been fighting for the access to information law for years, with successive governments failing to provide it in spite of repeated promises to do so.

(Xinhua/NAN)

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