KELVIN CHONGO, NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
MINISTER of Justice Given Lubinda is disappointed that opposition political parties have continued politicking on the amendment to the Public Order Act (POA) instead of making submissions to his office so that they can be taken on board.
And Mr Lubinda says the Access to Information Bill will be presented to Parliament when it resumes sitting next month.
He said in an interview yesterday that it is wrong for some political parties to blame Government for not engaging them directly in the process of revising the POA.
Mr Lubinda said no single political party has made submissions on the proposed amendment to the POA since March this year when he called for the suggestions.
“It’s diabolical for opposition parties to demand that Government gives them enough time and engage them directly as individual political parties to discuss their submissions,” he said.
Mr Lubinda was responding to National Restoration Party spokesperson Bwalya Nondo, who suggested that the minister should avoid making statements through the media and expect political parties to take such as an official communication.
New Congress Party president Peter Chanda said the POA is a good law in its current form.
Meanwhile, Mr Lubinda says the Access to Information Bill will be presented to Parliament during its next sitting, which will start next month.
“We have not lost track when it comes to presenting this important bill to Parliament. Government is committed to seeing to it that the Access to Information Bill is enacted,” he said.
Mr Lubinda said issues of capacity in handling the document resulted in the bill being withdrawn from Parliament previously.
He urged civil society organisations to provide checks and balances to Government to ensure that people’s rights and freedoms are protected.