Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Government’s plan to take the Access to Information Bill to 10 provinces for fine tuning opposed


Stakeholders have disapproved the government’s resolve to subject the Access to Information (ATI) Bill to further scrutiny following a stakeholder consultative and validation meeting that was held last month.

The Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has said that in as much as it values consultative processes, it is of the view that the ATI Bill has already undergone enough scrutiny over the past 21-years.

MISA Zambia Chairperson, Father Barnabas Simatende said that the announcement by Ministry of Information and Media Permanent Secretary Kennedy Kalunga that the Bill will be taken for further consultative processes across the ten provinces will only delay the process of enacting the bill into law

Fr Simatende has told the local radio station QFM in an interview that the move has the potential to stall the process further as the case has been with successive governments over the last twenty years.

And in a separate interview, Media Liaison Committee Chairperson Enock Ngoma said that government needs to give a clear roadmap on how it intends to conduct the stakeholder consultative processes in all ten provinces so that stakeholders can monitor the progress thoroughly.

Mr Ngoma said that there is no need to extend the consultative process because the bill has already been fine-tuned with input from stakeholders.

Mr Ngoma said that he fears that with the recent turn of events, the bill cannot be tabled in the current sitting of Parliament and chances are high that it might not be tabled anytime soon.


  1. Yaba, I thought the only thing remaining was the tabling in parliament? Upnd where’s the stamina, passion and zeal you had concerning this Bill?

  2. My advice to the concerned stakeholders is that they should widely publish the draft bill so that the public can examine it and make comments. Usually stakeholders concern themselves with their respective areas of interest and because of their vested interest they can’t be impartial. On the other hand we have witnessed processes where GRZ sponsors people to submit on specific points so that they look like they’re the majority view. So the best for all of us is to avail the Draft Bill to the public. Bills aren’t enacted for stakeholders alone, so in whose interest do you want to exclude the public? Further, please remove suspicions from your minds as you engage. We are all stakeholders

  3. What scrutiny are the powers be talking about concerning the bill because it has been on the icing for a long time. Taking that piece of yet to be enacted into law is just one way lining the technocrats pockets. I thought that type of doing things had gone with the previous PF regime. I heard Royce Saili (DIRECTOR) talking on TV that ZANIS wants to come up with its own TV station to be airing news from the provinces. That is a BIG Joke of the year. If the ZNBC with wide coverage and advertising space is struggling to meet its operational costs then what will make ZANIS survive. As at now most of the provincial and district offices for ZANIS have no transport and field equipment. I don’t know how our good colleagues stop reasoning properly once they occupy the high offices, they all…

  4. This is a constructive comment. I like. Thank you Ayatollah I wish your comment would be taken into account.

  5. There has been enough consultations it’s,time for action now. In fact we already have our representatives in parliament so they can adequately represent us.

  6. I don’t know why the story mentions stakeholders. Stateholders to anything on freedom of speech are the entire country. However there may be those who are more eloquent or experts on freedom of speech who can communicate our needs better and I believe they have already done so. Right now all you journalists should be publishing this bill to show us what is proposed. Don’t just touch the surface of the subject.

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