The UPND says it is disappointing that the enactment of the access to information law has taken too long.
UPND Deputy Spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo said in a statement that it is now over a decade since the process started.
Mr Lifwekelo said the MMD government introduced a bill in parliament but withdrew it at second reading stage to allow for more consultations which he said they never took back to parliament until they were voted out of power.
He said the Patriotic Front in opposition promised to bring back the bill
if voted into power adding that it is now two and half years since PF came into power and have not taken the bill back to parliament.
It’s now “don’t kubeba”. The UPND demands that the PF government immediately takes the access to information bill to parliament in the next sitting,” Mr Lifwekelo said.
He added, “It’s becoming clear that the PF government wants to continue governing in secrecy so as to deny Zambians the right to know about scandals in government like what’s going on to the
awarding contracts through State House. The fear that access to information bill may be inconsistent with existing legislation is a lame excuse.”
Mr Lifwekelo continued, “Where there is a conflict between the access to information law and subsidiary legislation the access to information law should to the extent of that inconsistency prevail.”
He said the PF Government must also with immediate effect halt the
intimidations and harassment of journalists especially those
from private and electronic media.
Mr Lifwekelo said the harassment of a Post Journalist and that of Hot FM Collins Changwe should end.
“UPND condemns in the strongest terms harassment of journalists. Journalism is not a crime and the Zambia Police Service must stop this brutality onjournalists with immediate effect. The PF Government must allow journalists to freely operate without intimidation and harassment. Publication of false news law should be repealed. The penal code has enough meat to deal with offenders,” he said.