ON APRIL 14, 2018, your newspaper carried a story headlined: ‘Lungu urges Zambians to read, understand public documents’. What the President said is very true.
Citizens have the right to information, especially documents that have a bearing on the citizenry like the Seventh National Development Plan, National Youth Policy, Land Policy, various Acts of Parliament, statutory instruments and many others.
Almost (if not) all government ministries and departments have some information which should be made public. Unfortunately, such information is not easy to access by the common man because it is not made public in any way.
Therefore the President’s call is timely and all the concerned government wings should take heed and start circulating such information so that it is available to the public.
Thanks to the Ministry of Health for publishing the statutory instrument about cholera that hit Lusaka and other parts of the country recently. Other ministries should also be doing the same each time there is information suitable for public consumption.
Government ministries and departments should also make use of institutions such as Parliament houses located in each constituency, libraries, churches, bookshops, Zampost offices, Zambia Revenue Authority offices, NAPSA offices, supermarkets and many others to distribute the documents.
If the documents are meant to raise government revenue, then they should be sold to whoever wants them. If they are for free distribution, so be it. But at the end of the day, people will be enlightened. We look forward to seeing concerned government ministries acting on the President’s genuine concern.