The Bloggers of Zambia celebrates the International Day of Access to Information, but rather with a very heavy heart owing to the absence of legislation that promotes citizen’s rights to access public information.
In view of this, the Bloggers of Zambia is calling for participation and inclusion of stakeholders in the making of proposed internet regulation legislation such as the Cybercrimes and Cyber Security Bill. We view the proposed internet regulation legislation as a major threat and an affront to access to information rights. Therefore, we are of the view that the proposed laws must be made in an open and transparent manner.
Today, we make a clarion call for the release of the cybercrimes and cyber security bill. This will enable citizens scrutinise the draft laws and avoid legislation that will violate citizen’s universal rights. We believe that all laws that are made in public interest must be enacted in a transparent and participatory manner as these regulations are meant to govern citizens. We have noted with trepidation in some parts of Africa that internet legislation regulations have been made in secrecy and without inclusion and participation have caused so much consternation in society.
Additionally, we call for speedy enactment of the Access to Information bill as doing so would enhance citizen’s participation in governance and promote their role to hold duty bearers to account.
We also call for speedy implementation of the media and communications policy that would assist in re-organising the media sector in Zambia and assert its role as a watchdog of society.
By Richard Mulonga
Founder Bloggers of Zambia