Zambia Hires Consultant to Evaluate FOI Legislation

8 November 2013

The Zambian government is evaluating how to harmonize a potential freedom of information law with other laws, according to a top official who attended the Open Government Partnership summit in London.

Speaking at a press conference Nov. 31, Mwsansa Kapeya, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said a local consultant has been hired for 30 days to evaluate the interplay of a FOI law with other laws and the constitution.

“After he has done that,” Kapeya said, “We will pass it on to the cabinet and finally to be tabled in parliament.”

The new delay for FOI is another in a long string of delays.

In July, the Zambian government said a FOI bill would be offered in September. A major announcement planned for June 26, 2012, was cancelled, beginning a series of broken promises. (See previous report.)

Kapeya asked an aide to provide the consultant’s name to, but the information has not been sent.

In London, Kapeya said the two-year old Patriotic Front (PF) government has revived local language newspapers, is setting up television studios in the country’s 10 provinces and has operationalized the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

Zambia is not a member of the OGP.

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