Harare, (New Ziana) – Government is committed to improving transparency in its dealings and operations by opening up
access to information to citizens and the media, a cabinet minister said on Friday.
Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said government had decentralised information dissemination and will soon ensure that all public institutions produce annual access to information reports.
“It has become government policy to communicate with citizens all Cabinet decisions and to provide daily updates on the deliberations by the national taskforce on Covid-19,” she said at belated commemorations for the International Day for Universal Access to information and handover of Covid-19 personal protective equipment to media personnel.
The celebrations are annually observed on September 28 and give governments an opportunity to reflect on the challenges and opportunities for enhancing the right to access information.
“We need to cut all unnecessary bureaucratic red tapes that inhibit the enjoyment of access to information and to ensure there is a quick turnover in the processing of information and to ensure there is a quick turnover in the processing of information requests from members of the public,” she said.
Mutsvangwa said to improve access to information by citizens, government was in the process of licensing new community radio and television stations while at the same time working on digitalisation of the communications infrastructure to ensure provision of quality services.
Initiatives were also underway to promote self-regulation in the media, she said.
She acknowledged the challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic presented to the media, while stressing the importance of information dissemination to citizens in the fight against the virus.
Covid-19 has killed nearly 300 people in Zimbabwe and over one million across the world.