Government has assured that the access to information bill will soon be presented before cabinet as part of efforts to promote transparency and socio-economic development.

Minister of information and media permanent secretary Kennedy Kalunga said the bill will be presented before cabinet in the next few weeks.

“My minister will be presenting it before cabinet. Government is cognizant and wants to provide what the people have been yearning for more than three decades. The ATI shall bring development” Mr. Kalunga said.

He said on Friday during the inaugural Makanday center of investigative journalism media awards that investigative journalism is an essential part of the media in their role of informing and educating the public.

“Government, therefore, supports the important work that Makanday is doing to develop investigative journalism.

0“In this regard, I note that Makanday’s work focuses on transformational stories with moral force and aims to shine a light on the exploitation of the weak by the strong,” Mr. Kalunga said.

He commended the organization for partnering with media training institutions in the country to offer specialized investigative training.

“This is commendable as it is in line with governments agenda to grow a free and independent media industry that contributes meaningfully to the governance and development of the country,” Mr. Kalunga said.

He said government has also placed high premium on the promotion of the rule of law, transparency and the fight against corruption.

Makanday center of investigative journalism management partner John Mukela said Makanday is the first newsroom set to promote investigative journalism in Zambia.

“The event is aimed at appreciating eminent investigative journalism in Zambia. It is aimed at promoting and encouraging investigative journalism in the country, which is lacking in this field. Awards are by journalists for journalists,” Mr. Mukela said.

And free press initiative founder Joan Chirwa said the panel received nine entries but very few stories were investigated.

“Some stories did not give a basis for investigation,” Ms. Chirwa said.

Those awarded included Zambia Daily Mail’s Chipata-based reporter Mayengo Nyirenda, Angela Mtambo – Radio Luswepo and Christopher Bazilio Banda – prime television.

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