Sakeni promises to table the Freedom of Information Bill before Parliament in September
GOVERNMENT says there is nothing sinister with the delayed tabling of the Freedom of Information Bill before Parliament but that the bill will be tabled during the next sitting of the House in September this year.
Chief Government Spokesperson Kennedy Sakeni who is Information and Broadcasting Services Minister said yesterday that the bill was yet to be approved by Cabinet but it was currently going through the legislative Parliamentary Committee before it could be tabled before Cabinet for approval.
Mr Sakeni told journalists in Lusaka that government was committed to seeing an independent and objective media as and such it was working round the clock to finalise the stages of the bill so that it could be tabled in the next sitting of Parliament.
He described as mere politicking assertions by Get Involved Zambia President Frank Bwalya on one of the local radio stations yesterday that government was scared to table the bill because of illegality and corrupt activities allegedly going on in the PF government.
He said government was not scared of anything but it was only ensuring that the bill passed through all the necessary stages so that a right product could be attained.
Mr Sakeni said “Father Bwalya is merely politicking because the bill has stages which it must go through before it is tabled before Parliament. Cabinet has already said that it goes to the legislative committee which needs to scrutinise because we cannot jump the gun but follow the right procedure.”
He said the bill could only be tabled in the next sitting in September because there were four days remaining before the current Parliament adjourned sine die.
He said government was consulting widely on the same as Zambia was living in a global world.
“We must make sure that when we take it to Parliament, it has all the required ingredients. We are committed to tabling it before Parliament but we can’t manage to do so now because we are only remaining with four days before the House adjourns” he said.
Mr Sakeni was positive that by the time Parliament resumed in September, the legislative committed would have completed its work and Cabinet would have approved the document to be ready to be taken to Parliament.