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Parly media committee bemoans public ignorance


Bindura (Nehanda Guardian-New Ziana) – The Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services has said it was concerned about the public’s ignorance of the proposed Freedom of Information Bill, which limited their input during parliamentary public hearings.

Addressing the media after a Bindura public hearing on the bill, committee chairperson Prince Sibanda encouraged the public to go through the proposed law to enable them to debate it meaningfully during public hearings.

“We bemoan a situation whereby we have 100 people attending a hearing, but just two or three are aware of the bill being discussed. I encourage people of Zimbabwe to go through the bill so that they make valuable contributions (so) that when the bill is enacted into a law, they will not be surprised,” he said.

The committee visited Bindura and Mt Darwin districts in Mashonaland Central province on Monday.

Among a few individuals and organisations that made submissions in the hearings were the Media Alliance of Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists and Media Institute of Southern Africa who all hailed the government’s efforts to give effect to access to information as enshrined in Section 61 and 62 of the Constitution (2013).

The Freedom of Information Bill is one of three bills meant to replace the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act. It sets procedures for citizens and permanent residents to access information held by public institutions.
Nehanda Guardian-New Ziana

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