THE enactment of the Access to Information Bill by the Government will bring to an end the practice of the media sniffing into Government-held information, says Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) governance advisor Isaac Mwanza.
Mr Mwanza said YALI was deeply saddened by the failure of Government to enact the Access to Information Bill which the nation had been eagerly waiting for. He challenged Government to enact the Bill, adding that the Patriotic Front (PF) had promised to do so once they were in power.
Mr Mwanza said that was the reason why the media had been sniffing into the Government operations and exposing information which ordinarily it would not have loved to be disseminated to members of the public.
This was mainly because Zambia lacked the law that allowed the media to freely get information.
“Government cannot give an excuse that the media has not been responsible and ethical in the manner they have been reporting on Government matters because the Access to Information Bill was not just meant to serve the media but the citizenry at large who need access to the information held by Government and its agencies,” he said.
Mr Mwanza said the failure to enact the Access to Information Bill meant that Government and its agencies would not be held responsible and accountable at a time the country demanded greater accountability and transparency from them in the management of resources or how they arrived at certain decisions of public interest.
“Therefore, we believe the PF have robbed the citizens of an opportunity to legally acquire information held by Government,” he said.
He said such a development would instead force citizens to continuously use “unorthodox” means of getting information, exposing corruption and showed lack of accountability on the part of the Government.