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Zambian Minister Predicts FOI Bill Will Be Tabled by July

last modified Feb 29, 2012 12:00 AM

Source: freedominfo.org

Date: 29 February 2012

Zambia’s Minister of Information, Broadcasting and Labour Fackson Shamenda Feb. 22 said a freedom of information bill will be tabled in Parliament by July.

He was speaking at the send-off ceremony for eight representatives from the media, civil society and government officials who will visit the United States Feb. 25-March 11 to study the U.S. media. His remarks were reported by ZNBC and the Daily Mail.

ZNBC reported that consultations on the bill are under way and quoted Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia Chairman Daniel Sikazwe as saying expectations are high for the enactment of a FOI bill.

The Daily Mail said Shamenda stated that the planned legislation is “not a government bill but a practitioner’s bill, so we want to listen more. It is important to exhaust consultation so that the country can come up with a bill that is close to perfection.”

In November 2011, officials said they would consult on the bill (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) Around the same time, a top ministerl said a law would be inplace in six months. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.) In October, the vice president predicted introduction of a bill in 90 days. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)