The decision by the PF government to regulate online media in the country has shocked the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) which says it is a direct infringement on the freedom of the Press.
MISA vice chairperson Hellen Mwale told the Daily Nation that the government must do away with laws that oppressed the freedom of expression in the country.
Mwale said that such a move was a big hindrance to the country’s democracy and good governance.
She said that the government must give room to the media to operate independently, adding that the operation of the online media in Zambia had immensely helped in the dissemination of information to other parts of the country.
“We want a free media that is sustainable; that is why we have been advocating for the Access of Information Bill which is important in promoting a sustainable environment for the media in Zambia,” she said.
Mwale said that the government should review and repeal certain pieces of legislation that have a bearing on freedoms of individuals if the access to information law was to be relevant in the country.
Mwale reiterated that if the country had good laws that protected the media, all those who were operating online media could have been operating openly and freely.
“A good legislation is the only way to regulate the online media, so that all who are operating are free to do their work under protection of the law. Zambia is a democratic nation and people have the right to information. If the law was there they were not going to be in hiding,” she said.
And Mwale said she was hopeful that the visit by Information and Broadcasting Minister Mwansa Kapeya to the United States of America on a comparative study tour of Freedom of Information and its implementations in supporting democracy in the country would be fruitful and demonstrated in Zambia.