Freedom of Information to be law in August – State

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Ministry of Information Broadcasting and Labour Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga
Ministry of Information Broadcasting and Labour Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga

GOVERNMENT has implored Zambians not to lose sleep over the Freedom of Information (FoI) bill because it is doing everything possible to ensure that it is made into law by August this year.

Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and Labour permanent secretary Amos Malupenga said in Lusaka yesterday that Government will now act and stop talking about FoI.

Mr Malupenga was speaking during a media breakfast meeting hosted by United States (US) ambassador to Zambia Mark Stollera at his residence.

“We are busy ourselves with the process of actualising the FoI by July or August,” Mr Malupenga said.

He said President Sata’s Government is committed to ensuring that there is press freedom in the country.

Mr Malupenga said it will be easy for Zambians to take the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to task if it back-peddles on its promise to enhance Press freedom.

He said President Sata was misunderstood about the FoI bill when he talked about it recently.

“President Sata is committed to Press freedom as could be seen from his desire to establish television stations in rural parts of the country,” he said.

Mr Malupenga was reacting Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president James Banda who called for a wider inclusion in the technical committee looking at the FoI of senior members of the association.

Mr Banda said the FoI is a law for all the people and not journalists alone.

“We expect more representation in the technical committee because this law (FoI) is for everybody,” he said.

And State House deputy press secretary Amos Chanda said President Sata has never walked away from issues of Press freedom.
Mr Chanda said President Sata was misunderstood when he recently said the FoI Act will be irrelevant if people in rural areas have no access to the Press.

“President Sata did not in any way suggest that the FoI Act is irrelevant or it should not be pushed with the vigour it deserves,” Mr Chanda said.

And Mr Storella said freedom of the press in Zambia is bearing fruit under the PF Government.

“I’m grateful to President Sata and the PF for opening the door to Press freedom. I’m sure the legislation (Freedom of Information) will be passed by July or August this year,” Mr Storella said.

Mr Storella said the PF Government has pushed press freedom to a higher level by considering enacting the law on press freedom.

He said US officials were impressed with the eight Zambians who recently attended a two-week programme on press freedom and media accountability in that country.

Mr Storella said it is everyone’s responsibility to institutionalise press freedom.

He said press freedom will strengthen Zambia’s democracy.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

20 COMMENTS

  1. vote

    thats good u have shown the way and set uop the plkatform for human struggle all the BEST BA ZAMBIA

  2. vote

    First its was within ninety days, it then moved to within sixt months from December when the statement was made. And now, by August, a government of commedy indeed. Lets wait and see what shall happen. I hope they are being sincere on this. What is worrying is that the stakeholders are not being consulted for now. For example, we do not know the Bill he is talking about since there have been many revisions. Is the pre 2002 version, or the 2002 version, or is it the 2007 version and or indeed another version which we hear is with the government and they dont want to circulate so that stakeholders could debate it! I dont know where we are heading to honestly. I hope Ukwa will make more progressive statements next time and not retrogressive ones. I rest my case

    • vote

      Oh! Shut up! We have heard read these silly comments about 90 days. Grow up! How many times did parliament sit in the first 90 days for a bill to be passed into law?

  3. vote

    Cobra was not misunderstood; he said very clearly at State House not too long ago, that there is no need to rush the FOI bill when rural dwellers haven’t been sensitized on the issue. You guys keep shooting yourselves in the foot; nobody is misquoting you. We’ll wait till Aug and will congratulate you once it’s done.

    • vote

      Please – he did not say there is no need – he said it would be useless…and you know he was right. His thinking is let us make media accessible to all so that the freedom of information bill can contribute to everyone’s development. So just celebrate that it will be enacted. 

  4. vote

    Improvising and lying as you go along under the pretext of planning is called ‘winging it’. Politicians are known to do this a lot the world over, even here in the UK. The difference in this case is that under the PF Govt, these guys have lifted the bar and it has now been perfected into an art. They have been winging it all along and have now reached a Masters Degree stage where they do it without even blinking. They lie under oath, pluck time-scales from thin air, contradict each other, deny entirely something they said a few days earlier, u-turn, turn left but swear they have just turned right, etc..etc. All in a day’s work, and they sleep very well at night, too. It’s simply unbelievable.

  5. vote

    This was pure misunderstandfing of the President, he said, how do you talk about FOI when rural aeas havfe no access to infomation, I want television stations to be opened in all provinces. That does not mean he is saaying no FOI, he meant with FOI, we also have to ensure that it does not just benefit Lusaka dn the line of rail but all provinces!!!
    Good clarification ba PS!!

  6. vote

    shifting the goal post. 2 X 90 Days. wapya munzi i hope u consulted before making this statement. the problem with government is that you all make statements without consulting

  7. vote

    Malupenga will be fired , Ukwa said forget it on FOI. So all of you do just that forget it, Zambia does not need it when Ukwa is in charge………

  8. vote

    Patience is a virtual, the President is right, intellectuals have a tendency of not including uneducated Zambians…the bill needs to be known at least by the majority Zambian voters who have no access to such email, or e-media. STOP the thinking of having access to media platform to push for what one wishes without the majority Zambians…I call this STUPID RUBBER STAMP kind of democracy….dont use the poor or uneducation voters to reasons with what is not influencing their live…. inclusive government should just mean that.

  9. vote

    @Maggie babes, Ukwa is a popular Nigerian comic (google it and watch his clips on YouTube). HH recently likened Sata to Ukwa lol.

  10. vote

    Thanks Big Pipe, too bad am not into nigerian cinema… Is he any funny, the Ukwa guy? What is the connection? You must admit, freedom of speech is priceless, yeah? Only pa Zed. lol indeed.

  11. vote

    We know you soon another man will be saying the very oposite. So far you are the best team to buying time. Whare are the 90 days promises?
    1. lower tax
    2. high salaries
    list goes on

  12. vote

    Another flipping turn. How can we trust these people with running affairs of the nation when they twist and turn, contradicting themselves day and night? Awe mwe!!!

  13. vote

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