The task force working on the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill has completed drafting the document and is expected to launch it next week for public scrutiny and comments.
The Task force comprising of the civil society, legal experts, Transparency International, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and other stakeholders has been working on the Freedom of Information legislation for the past few months and have made headways.
Government says the progress made in formulating the FoI bill indicates the commitment it has attached to ensuring that there is free flow and public access to information.
Information, Broadcasting and Labour Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga made the disclosure when officials from the British Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) called on him at his office in Lusaka yesterday.
ZANIS reports that according to the Ministry’s Press and Public Relations Unit, the PS told the team comprising DFID Governance Advisor in Zambia Sam Waldock and Dr. Mark Robinson, the DFID Chief Professional Officer in the Governance, Conflict and Social Development Division at the Organisation’s Headquarters in London that FoI Bill draft is ready to be launched soon.
“A taskforce has been working to come up with draft legislation on the Freedom of Information Bill. This is now ready and we will be launching it in few days time for public scrutiny and input. The Draft will be thereafter be submitted to Cabinet and later Parliament for commencement of the enactment process,” said Mr. Malupenga.
Mr. Malupenga who is also the spokesperson for the taskforce appealed for financial support from cooperating partners and other stakeholders to publicise the draft bill in the print and other communication channels to enable members of the public access the document countrywide.
And Mr. Robinson pledged DFID’s support for the ongoing media reforms in Zambia describing the country’s freedom of information process as impressive.