The Media Institute of Southern African (MISA) Zambia has commended President Hakainde Hichilema on his commitment to engage the media in order to freely interact with the citizenry without restrictions.
MISA Zambia interim Chairperson, Barnabas Simatende welcomed the move as it promotes transparency and accountability between the citizen and government.
Fr. Simatende stated that the call by President Hichilema will also promote the freedom of expression from citizens, which he said is a fundamental right.
He further stated that a free media is vital for a democracy to thrive because it plays a key role in providing platforms for engagement to foster constructive debate and dialogue to bring about development.
He added that a free media also allows the general citizenry to have access to information that allows them to make informed decisions.
“Therefore, MISA Zambia finds this move by the President commendable as it will allow citizens to participate in public affairs which is key in any democracy,” Fr. Simatende said.
Fr. Simatende has since called on President Hichilema to prioritize the enactment of the Access to Information Bill into law in order to strengthen the accountability and transparency mechanism by those entrusted with authority.
This is contained in a statement made available to ZANIS in Ndola by MISA Zambia Interim Chairperson, Barnabas Simatende.