The right to information: Zambia's situation vis-a-vis International Human Rights Standards
MetadataShow full item record
The need for a platform where people will be able to collect information and voice their opinions about important national matters has been in existence for as long as Zambia has been a republic. The quest for independence in Zambia came with the very purpose of wanting to be free to express one's word without impediment. Today, forty-nine years after Zambia's independence in 1964, we do not see this abating. The cries from many media and non-media houses involved in the dissemination and collection of information have been on re-focusing the driving direction by those involved in framing legislation as well as to re-think policy formulation. There have been concerns by large institutions such as Media Institute of Southern Africa Zambia on the need that countries should formulate legislation that promote access to information. Zambia has not been spared in this quest. It has been noticed that the lack of participation in important national matters by the citizens could be attributable to lack of information to contribute positively towards the same. The Zambia Constitution guarantees freedom of expression and the press. This has given hope to many people in Zambia but has not gone a long a way insofar as affording a Zambian people the guaranteed freedom under the Constitution. There has been blatant disregard of the provision of the supreme law of the land, the Constitution. This is evidenced in many court cases as well as some provisions of subsidiary legislation. In some cases however, there have been strides by the courts to pronounce such subsidiary legislative enactments null and void for not being in conformity with the Constitution. However, the real fact of the situation on the ground is that there is a steady development to disregard people's rights to pass and receive information at important gatherings. Despite what is happening at the moment, the hope is that there are promises being made by the government of the republic of Zambia to enact a law that will enable the collection and dissemination of information to the intended entities. This has been termed the Freedom of Information Bill of 2002. Although it was promised to be enacted by the Patriotic Front Government by mid-2013, we have now passed that period. However, there are still hopes that it shall come to pass. This dissertation is an audit on some of the laws that impede the exercise of freedom of expression and press in Zambia. It endeavours to show the importance that lies in the freedom of information in order that it demonstrates to what extent the laws that impede free speech and press may be re-visited. Also, it is acknowledged that Zambia does not guarantee the freedom of information. Therefore, it discusses the importance that looking into or considering the provision of such law may bring in Zambia.
SubjectFreedom of information- Zambia
International Human Rights Standards
Information policy- Zambia
Government information- Zambia
- Law