Minister of Information, Communications Technology and Civic Education, Mark Botomani said the government will continue to ensure that media practitioners work in a conducive environment.
The Minister said this during his visit at Zodiac Broadcasting Station (ZBS) offices in Lilongwe on Monday.
“Media freedom is of paramount importance to this nation and government will continue to protect and promote it,” said Botomani said.
He said among others, the government will see to it that the Access to Information (ATI) law is fully operational.
“A lot of preparation has been made, in this regard, a road map has drawn and regulations have been developed. The law requires that we have regulations in place before it is fully operational and that has been done and duly submitted to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs,” the Minister said.
Botomani added that officials from Ministry of Information, Ministry of Justice and the Malawi Human Right Commission would meet to look at terms and reference of the tripartite steering committee that would drive the process of operationalising the act.
He added that they would review the road map so that the ATI would become operational.
Managing Director for ZBS, Gospel Kazako said it was necessary for the Ministry to create a conducive environment where media could operate and be productive.
“When media is operating well in a country, it is easy to develop as it is a catalyst,” he said.
Kazako added that sometimes the media in the country was over-regulated which renders it ineffective.
He said their station believes that for a country to develop, media must be aggressive and government must be accountable.
“Our job is to provide the mechanism that demands accountability and transparency so that people must know what is happening in their country,” Managing Director said.
Kazako lamented that sometimes when the media tries to do that they are taken as the enemies of the government.
He said as the station they will continue to do what they do by upholding media freedoms responsibility.