Power and Politics

Govt reiterates commitment to freedom of expression, claims democratic space not shrinking


Government has launched a legal note on freedom of expression with a reaffirmation of its position that the country’s democratic space is not shrinking.

Ministry of Information and Media Permanent Secretary, Thabo Kawana, said the democratic space was expanding with individuals now possessing rights to express themselves across various platforms more than ever before.

Kawana said this when he officiated at the launch of the legal note on freedom of expression, media freedom and digital rights in Lusaka on Wednesday.

He assured the nation that government would continue to create an enabling environment where freedom of expression flourished and media pluralism thrived.

“We have created an environment were human rights are respected and protected for all and this document provides a platform for knowledge exchange among all concerned parties,” Kawana stated.

He said the document was significant not only for the media, but also for civil society organisations, lawyers, government and the public at large.

Kawana added that the legal note would serve as a comprehensive guide to navigating the complex legal frameworks governing freedom of expression and media rights in the digital sphere.

Read More: Free Press Initiative raises the alarm on potential threats to press freedom

“The legal note which has been developed by MISA Zambia and its partners will serve as an advocacy tool that will enhance the capacities of stakeholders in protecting freedom of expression, media freedom and human rights,” he stated.

Kawana said the document also provided practical recommendations for promoting inclusivity, combating online harassment and hate speech as well as protecting vulnerable groups from digital threats.

He reiterated that government was steadfast in ensuring a conducive environment for the media to carry out its duties and protecting journalists from any form of attack.

“In line with it’s commitment to transparency and accountability, government recently enacted the Access to Information Law,” Kawana stated.

He noted that the legislation would foster a culture of openness in the utilisation of public resources.

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