Stakeholders engage parliamentary committee on proposed media bill 

Media Stakeholders today in Harare engaged the parliamentary committee on media and broadcasting about the new proposed Freedom information bill that is set to replace Aippa.

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By Marshall Bwanya

Media Stakeholders today in Harare engaged the parliamentary committee on media and broadcasting about the new proposed Freedom information bill that is set to replace Aippa.

Media Institute of Southern Africa, Media Alliance of Zimbabwe and journalists proposed recommendations to the new draft Freedom of Information bill before it passed into effect.

Speaking from the sidelines after the workshop Parliamentary portfolio committee chairperson on media and broadcasting Prince Sibanda highlighted recommendations on clauses made for the new proposed media bill.

“First observation was that clause number 7 which deals with access of information by public entities should be inclusive to privately owned entities as well.

“There are times when public entities will be holding information and that information will be required of the attainment of verification purposes,” he said.

Sibanda reiterated that requests to information should be inclusive to other handicapped communities.

“Recommendations were also made on clause number 5 of the draft bill that there should not only be a duty to realise information but a duty to assist in seeking information for the deaf, illerate and visually impaired,” he said.

The parliamentary committee portfolio chairperson reiterated that clause no. 17 of the proposed Freedom information bill there were recommendations that the suggested fees should not apply to the 16 official languages recognised by the Constitution.

“Recommendation also proposed were that if one is seeking a translation of information to one of the 16 languages enjoyed in the Constitution that citizen should not pay it is their right to be provided with information,” he said.