MINISTRY of Information and Media Permanent Secretary Kennedy Kalunga has announced that government will take the Access to Information (ATI) Bill to all provinces in order to widen stakeholder consultation.
According to a statement issued by the ministry’s Public and Media Relations Unit, Friday, Kalunga said the ministry had embraced the proposal by some stakeholders for more stakeholders to be consulted on the Bill across the country.
Kalunga said this when a delegation from PANOS and Internews Network Zambia paid a courtesy call on him.
“Information and Media Permanent Secretary Kennedy Kalunga has announced that government is to take the Access to Information (ATI) Bill to all the ten provinces of the country in order to widen stakeholder consultation on the Bill. Mr Kalunga says following the consultative meeting with the media and other stakeholders on the Bill in Lusaka recently, some stakeholders have proposed to the Ministry that more stakeholders need to be consulted on the Bill across the country, which proposal the Ministry has fully embraced,” the statement read.
“The Permanent Secretary says that there is a general impression that the ATI is for the media alone when it is not, hence the decision to subject it to wider consultation with other stakeholders in the country. Mr Kalunga added that technocrats in the Ministry have since commenced preparations for the provincial meetings with the stakeholders.”
And PANOS and Internews Network Zambia commended the government for deciding to extend the consultation process to stakeholders
“The officials comprised PANOS Executive Director Vusumuzi Sifile and Chef of Party for Open Spaces, a consortium comprising Inter News Network Zambia, PANOS and other advocacy institutions, Teldah Mawarire. And Mr. Sifile and Ms.Mawarire commended Government for the open-door and inclusive manner it is handling the ATI process. The two officials further commended government for deciding to extend the consultation process to stakeholders to all the ten provinces in the country. They also pledged their organisations’ continued support to the process,” read the statement.