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Zambian journalists welcome cabinet approval of Access to Inf

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LUSAKA, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Journalists in Zambia on Tuesday welcomed the announcement that cabinet has approved the Access to Information Bill.

On Monday, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Dora Siliya said cabinet approved the long-awaited bill during its meeting on Monday and that the bill was meant to promote proactive and organized dissemination of information to the public.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia Chapter said the announcement was welcome as stakeholders had been waiting for the same bill for years.

Hyde Hanguta, Vice-Chairperson of the media body said stakeholders are finally happy that the bill has been approved although he noted that the battle was not yet over.

He told journalists during a press briefing that the government should now inform stakeholders on when the bill will be tabled before parliament, adding that mere approval by cabinet was not enough.

He further said the government should share with stakeholders the contents of the bill so that they can see what was contained in it in order to avoid speculations.

Stakeholders in Zambia have been fighting for the access to information law for years, with successive governments failing to provide it despite repeated promises to do so.

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