BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
A LOCAL non-governmental organisation Tag-A-Life International (TaLI) yesterday launched the My Freedom of Information campaign which seeks to educate women and girls on their constitutional rights to information as stipulated in the Freedom of Information Act.
The new law came into force in July 2020 and it repealed the oppressive Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA). It now gives citizens and media practitioners rights to access to information from public bodies.
Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa, who was the guest speaker at the launch yesterday urged citizens to approach public bodies to demand information that they needed.
“A lot of women out there can do most things because they are capable, but they just need validated information. Zimbabwe has been successful in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the taskforce is being led by a woman (Agnes Mahomva).
“I urge women to get out there and look for correct information on different issues,” Mutsvangwa said.
She said government was transparent and willing to account and provide information to citizens.
“We really need to unpack government programs because they are being done to make sure we uplift the standard of living of our people. We licensed community radio stations that use minority languages to ensure they get correct information,” Mutsvangwa said.
TaLI founder Nyaradzo Mashayamombe said progressive laws such as the Freedom of Information Act will enable women, girls, youths, and all vulnerable groups to participate in democracy, human rights and accountability, as well as monitoring how public bodies use public resources.
“This is an initiative designed to publicise this law so that the citizens, especially women, girls as well as female journalists may begin to assert their rights to access information,” Mashayamombe said.