Women and girls’ rights organisation, Tag a Life International (TaLI), Thursday launched the My Freedom of Information campaign to raise awareness on the Freedom of Information Act for vulnerable groups and journalists.
The campaign is spearheaded by TaLI, in partnership with Fojo Media Institute, Identities Media TV and the Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services.
The Freedom of Information Act repealed the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), legislation that had been viewed as draconian and a hindrance to access to information.
The new legislation provides citizens and media practitioners with the right to access information and also creates legal frameworks and mechanisms for accessing information from public and private bodies.
Speaking at the launch, Information minister Senator Monica Mutsvangwa underlined the need for mandatory designation of Information Officers in all public and private entities for handling information requests and disclosure of information to the public. Said the minister:
The new law provides for the obligation on entities to have a written information disclosure policy. The law also provides for the provision of information in a language requested by the applicant. These practical provisions if well-resourced and are made known to the citizens, and journalists will ensure that citizens enjoy their constitutional freedoms and rights to information, as well as freedom of expression.
Minister Mutsvangwa further encouraged citizens, especially women, girls and youths, and journalists to take advantage of the new legislation to exercise their right to access information.
In a statement, Fojo Media Institute said the My Freedom of Information Campaign was designed to publicise the Freedom of Information Act so that citizens, especially women, girls as well as female journalists may begin to enjoy the law and assert their rights to access to information.
The campaign commenced on Wednesday with the training of over 30 ambassador journalists from various media houses on the Freedom of Information Act to empower them to be able to champion the drive premised on encouraging women participation in the media.
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