Saturday, July 13, 2024

President Hichilema signs Access to Information bill into Law

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President Hakainde Hichilema has signed the long awaited Access to Information Bill (ATI) into law to the excitement of the media personnel and other stakeholders in the country.

President Hichilema says the signing of ATI into law is a major milestone in the media sector and the country at large as it will promote access to information by the media and other players.

President Hichilema signed the  ATI Bill during the press conference in Lusaka today, making it historical considering the many years that have passed for the piece of legislation to be signed into law.

The historical signing of the ATI will also promote human rights and democracy in the country as people will freely approach government agencies and other institutions to get vital information on any issue.

And Ministry of Information and Media Permanent Secretary Thabo Kawana said the signing of the Bill will remove limitations that people face in search of vital information.

He observed that it has taken over two decades for the country to arrive at the stage where the President has signed the much awaited ATI Bill.

Sometime this year the Minister of Information and Media, Cornelius Mweetwa presented the ATI Bill to parliament for consideration and was passed by it before closing business.

23 COMMENTS

    • That’s not how it works. To give real effect to legislation, a commencement order , that is, a statutory instrument is issued to announce that the law is in operation. This signifies existence of procedures and personnel to enforce the legislation. I think the commencemdnt order should be delayed as much as possible to prepare all bits and pieces of the public sector to work out how they will live with this law. An information request form has to be designed to prevent irrational and rumbling requests that will make it hard for public officers to determine what one really wants.

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    • Lets also get information how @INDEPENDENT OBSERVER made his $50m and scrutinize his assets in Zambia. How did this Prophet of Doom make his money?…..

    • # Spaka

      Let go of the Ghost. This is *emotionally and *psychologically not health for you.

      In 2010, the first Bitcoin Exchanges was traded for $0.03 per coin. It takes 3 minutes to buy bitcoin online. If you Spaka had just invested $200 in 2010, you could have bought 66 bitcoins. Today bitcoin is $33,500 each coin. It means today, you would walk out with $2.2 million; (66x$35,500) = $2.2m.

      Now let’s assume youSpaka invested $1000, in 2011 when it was @ $0.95. You would have bought 1,052 bitcoins. Then sold, when was it reached $49,400 per coin; (1052x$49,400)= $51m. Mind you, on Nov 8th, 2021, Bitcoin reached its highest peak of $67,567.000 per coin. Have a nice festive season!!

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    • @@ Ba Spaka

      Dude, making money is just a game. Those who are savvy and follow the rules they make money without excessive force. Its not only HH who knows how to make money in Zambia, this according to UPND Supporters. The example @OBSERVER has illustrated is knowing how to spot opportunities. Bitcoin has made a lot of people become Millionaires and Billionaires.

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  1. HH is quite funny. Yesterday I dredged through the conference (boasting, admitting he won’t listen to anyone and of course bashing the PF). Of interest to this article is where he refused to answer questions that he did not address in his four hour conference. He directed the journalists to limit their questions to what he presented.
    And this at the time he was signing the ATI which ironically means he should, at the very least, lead by example and allow questions from the public on any matter.
    We leave it here.

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    • You mean??? How can he dictate such anti freedom of speech boundaries? It has never happened before from KK’s time. And our news media is just obeying??? They should have clearly disobeyed his DECREE and asked questions on whether Mutale Nalumango will have another trip this year. Perhaps we are a one party dictatorship.

    • No one can answer any question anywhere because answers to some questions are lying in documents filed somewhere. If you cannot understand that, I doubt you should have the right to vote.

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    • Lol. He can say either he cannot comment, or indeed he can direct the journalists to relevant ministries. Saying no to questions because he didn’t address them is silly, especially that he should have a comment on questions of the kwacha and whether jangalo and alpha are business associates.

    • @Gunner if you are willing to give such corrupt leeways to politicians I doubt you should have the right to vote. If you have DSTV just switch to Sky covering the British parliament and see how politicians answer spontaneous questions with lots of information and data. Now here you are proud of your clueless dictatorial politicians yet you have adopted Western style democracy? In name only??

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  2. The ATI is adulterated and is not what people think it is. It will not bring media freedom as expected and access to info will still be blocked. Journalists will still be investigated and arrested. Take time to read the bill and you will be disappointed.

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    • You misunderstand the issue completely. It’s access to information legislation and not freedom of the media. Why is it that only the media should have freedom? Other professions are not asking for any special legislation granting them freedom and are free to practise within existing laws that respect everyone’s freedom.

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    • You seem to misunderstand the issue completely. Access to Information affects all citizens just as freedom of speech does. However, for journalists this is very much operational because while you non-journalist citizen can ignore it the journalist cant! He has to publish facts! He has to publish both sides of the story. Countries that have freedom of the media like the US have not restricted freedom of speech to journalists

  3. Hakainde Hichilema has been a great president hitting all the right notes.Now we have access to info unlike the dark days of ECL and MCS.

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  4. Like the removal of presidential defamation law, which has been replicated into hate speech, this one also will reincarnate into something else. Akalela when we shout forward we mean reverse.

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