The Access to Information Coalition has lauded the government’s efforts in fostering transparency and citizen participation through the Access to Information Bill (ATI). Coalition Chairperson Alex Muyebe highlighted the positive steps taken by the government, particularly emphasizing section three of the ATI Bill, which mandates information holders to proactively publish information. This provision aims to empower citizens to promptly exercise their right to access information.
However, Fr. Muyebe acknowledged that despite these advancements, there is still work to be done to fully realize the potential of the ATI Bill in providing the public with freedom of access to information. During a media briefing in Lusaka, Fr. Muyebe expressed hope that stakeholders’ views would be carefully considered in shaping the final version of the ATI law in Zambia.
While commending the progress made, Southern Africa Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) Executive Director Boniface Cheembe underscored that access to information is a fundamental human right that every democratic nation, including Zambia, must enact. As the nation moves forward in finalizing the ATI Bill, stakeholders are encouraged to actively contribute to the formulation of a robust law that ensures transparency, accountability, and active citizen engagement in the democratic process.