The British High Commissioner to Zambia James Thornton says the passing of the long awaited Access to Information Bill in Parliament this year will demonstrate the Patriotic Front government’s seriousness of governing the country in a more open and transparent manner.
Mr. Thornton noted that passing of the bill would also bring Zambia a step closer to becoming a member of the multilateral initiative the Open Government Partnership whose aim is among other things to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency and fight corruption.
Mr. Thornton also observed that in order for the media to fulfill the mandate of providing information to the public there is need for the creation of an environment in which the media can operate without undue restriction or hindrance.
He further observed that it was gratifying to note that PF government had prioritized among other media law reforms the transformation of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) in to a true public broadcaster.
The British High Commissioner was speaking during a Civil Society Workshop on Public Service Broadcasting and Media laws organized by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia.
Speaking at the same event, MISA Zambia chairperson Nalumino Nalumino reiterated the need for the government to fully operationalize the IBA in the country.