Zambia: Misa Welcomes Enactment of Ati Legislation in Zambia


On signing the Access to Information Act into law on 22 December, President Hakainde Hichilema said the enactment of the legislation was a major milestone in the media sector and the country, as it would promote access to information by the media and other players.

The Zambian government has enacted the long-awaited access to information legislation becoming the latest country in Southern Africa to do so after Namibia, which enacted similar legislation in 2022.

Access to information legislation has been a contentious issue for decades in Zambia, with successive administrations all promising to enact the law, but not fulfilling their promises.

On signing the Access to Information Act into law on 22 December, President Hakainde Hichilema said the enactment of the legislation was a major milestone in the media sector and the country, as it would promote access to information by the media and other players.

One of the positives of the law is that the Human Rights Commission is empowered to sanction bodies or individuals that fail to provide information as requested.

In addition, unlike most jurisdictions, members of the public are allowed to make oral requests for information. This democratises access to information, as written requests are often exclusionary of people that cannot read or write.

“Section 26(c)(ii) of the Act is a positive development as it protects whistleblowers who play a pivotal role in making government and other institutions transparent and curbs corruption,” MISA Regional Director Tabani Moyo said.