Patrick Matibini examines the concept of freedom of information, starting with a historical overview of the political arena in Zambia. The primary objective of this article is said to be threefold – first, to demonstrate the importance of freedom of information in a democratic state; secondly, to consider the quest for legislating freedom of information in Zambia; and, thirdly, to highlight the principles of the Freedom of Information Bill that has been presented to the Zambian National Assembly.
The author notes that, although the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights does not guarantee the right to access information, it protects the right to receive information. The two freedoms are, however, understandably perceived to be closely connected and various international instruments treat freedom of expression as including freedom of information. The author concludes by restating the significance of freedom of information, referring to it as an “important concomitant of modern democracy”.