Minister of Justice Given Lubinda says his ministry remains committed to working towards government’s’ objective of enhancing press freedom and the rule of law as a way of enhancing the press freedom environment.
Mr. Lubinda says government is aware that an informed citizenry contributes to national development and failure to create such an environment can be deemed as injustice to the people and to development.
The minister said this in a press statement issued to media in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr. Lubinda explained that for press freedom to excel, the rule of law and access to information are the guiding principles within which press freedom can be achieved.
Mr. Lubinda added that a free, independent and pluralistic media environment is where journalists are able to work safely and independently without the fear of being threatened.
He added that Zambia’s press freedom environment has continued to improve over the years thereby contributing to the national development of the country because people are able to make informed decisions.
The minister commended the warm relationship with the media Associations and their continued focus to have an enhanced environment within which journalists can work while observing the rule of law.
He said this is the only way that checks and balances can be provided to the government in power.
The Press Freedom Day was commemorated under the theme ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law”
And Government has assured journalists in the country that the cyber laws that will soon be introduced are meant to protect the journalism profession and not to clampdown on journalists.
Speaking during the World Press Freedom Day Commemoration in Lusaka, under the theme: “keeping power in check: media justice and rule of law” , Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services acting permanent secretary Isaac Chipampe said the cyber laws are meant to deal with and arrest the increasing numbers of criminals on the cyber space.
He says the ministry is concerned with the increased online fraud, stating that people are being duped of their monies through online job adverts which are requesting people to pay in exchange for jobs.
Mr Chipampe has noted the need for citizens to distinguish between journalism and communication, stating that most of the things posted on facebook, twitter and whatsApp is communication and not journalism.
Mr. Chipampe has since urged media personnel to regulate themselves to bring standards to the journalism profession by staying away from online write-ups which are sometimes abusive.
And Speaking at the same event, World Press Freedom Day organizing committee representative Felistus Chipako reminded journalists to remain professional and ethical in executing their duties if the profession is to be respected.