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Alba Iulia
Tuesday, May 3, 2022

NGOCC advocates improved freedom of the media in Zambia.

General News NGOCC advocates improved freedom of the media in Zambia.

On World Press Freedom Day, the Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has advocated improved freedom of the media in Zambia.

NGOCC Executive Director Anne Mbewe Anamela said all stakeholders, especially the government must facilitate an environment for the press to operate freely.

Ms. Anamela said the media without doubt continue to play an important role in growing Zambia’s young democracy.

She said the media has continued to be the medium through which the rulers and the governed communicate on matters of national importance.

Ms. Anamela emphasised that the free flow of information in a democracy remains critical as citizens depend on this very information to make decisions on a day to day basis.

“The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) joins the Zambian media and indeed the world in commemorating the International World Press Freedom Day which is celebrated annually on May, 3. The media, without doubt continue to play an important role in growing our young democracy. As the fourth estate, the media continue to be the medium through which the rulers and the governed communicate. The important role of the media in a democracy can therefore not be overemphasized. It is against this backdrop that on the occassion to commemorate the, International World Press Fredom Day, we urge all stakeholders, especially the government to facilitate an environment for the press to operate freely. The free flow of information in a democracy remains critical as citizens depend on this very information to make decisions on a day to day basis,” Ms. Anamela said.

She further advocated the enactment of the Access to Information (ATI) law that has been pending for many years.

Ms. Anamela said the Access to Information law is not only important for the press but for enhancing good governance.

She said NGOCC believe with unhindered access to information, government will become more transparent and responsive to the citizens.

“Over the years, the women’s movement and indeed either actors have been advocating for the enactment of the Access to Information (ATI) law. The Access to Information law is not only important for the press but for enhancing good governance. We believe with unhindered access to information, governmnet will become more transparent and responsive to the citizens. We therefore reiterate our call for the New Dawn Administration to consider enacting the Access to Information law. As we commemorate this very important day, we would like to also appeal to the Government to facilitate for a constitutional review process so as to remove repugnant laws that negate a free press. We have in mind the insult laws and the defamation of the President law. In a democracy, citizens should be free to express their perspectives including criticism of their leaders, of course in a responsible manner. The repugnant laws are not only retrogressive but negate the growth of our young democracy,” she said.

Ms. Anamela also highlighted challenges that beset the media such as poor working conditions of service and political interference.

“On this occasion, we celebrate the work of the media who continue to operate under very difficult circumstances. We are aware of some of the socio-political challenges that beset the media such as poor working conditions of service, political interference in their work among others. As a women’s movement, we regard the media as a critical partner in our advocacy for greater gender equality. A happy world press freedom day to the media,” Ms. Anamela concluded.

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