The UPND government says it has embarked on key policy and legal reforms aimed at widening the space for freedom of expression and freedom of the media.
Speaking during the legal Hand Book launch this morning, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Media Kennedy Kalunga says the policy reforms include decontrol and deregulation of the media so that they are free to set their own editorial and reportorial agenda while enhancing safety of the media.
‘Government is working tirelessly to ensure that the media operates in a media friendly environment as they carry out their duties to serve the public. Government is also working towards ensuring that the rights of journalists are not only recognized but strongly protected. The safety of the journalists will ensure that they gather quality information that is disseminated in a timely manner’, Mr Kalunga says.
Speaking at the same event, USAID Zambia Civil Society Specialist Charlene Bangwe says a free and independent media is an essential part of democracy and ensures the public’s right to know so that the government and all institutions providing public services are held accountable.
And MISA Zambia National Director, Austin Kayanda has underlined the need to provide a secure and conducive environment for the media with 100% access to information as one of our top priorities.
He added that the media is an important ally in national development and should therefore be provided with a conducive and progressive environment which should support their work.
The legal hand book has been launched under the USAID Open Spaces Zambia Project funded by the USAID and implemented by the Internews in partnership with FHI360.
The Open Spaces Zambia project supports an open inclusive environment in which media, civil society and activists provide accurate and impartial information that promotes participation, inclusion and accountability.