MISA Zambia calls for the amendment and removal of some Penal Code provisions

THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has called for the amendment of certain provisions in the Penal Code as it considers them archaic and no longer applicable. The institution has therefore been working and holding meetings with various partners and stakeholders to try and identify issues of media concern with the ultimate aim of producing a submission outlining areas of amendments of the Penal Code and other related legislation.

Some of the provisions in the Penal Code that MISA Zambia feels need to be amended or completely removed include the prohibited publications, seditious practices, defamation of the president, publication of false news, obscene materials and the public order act among others. MISA Zambia has being an advocate for the freedom of expression and the enactment of the Access to Information (ATI) law. THE Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zambia has called for the amendment of certain provisions in the Penal Code as it considers them archaic and no longer applicable.

The institution has therefore been working and holding meetings with various partners and stakeholders to try and identify issues of media concern with the ultimate aim of producing a submission outlining areas of amendments of the Penal Code and other related legislation.

Some of the provisions in the Penal Code that MISA Zambia feels need to be amended or completely removed include the prohibited publications, seditious practices, defamation of the president, publication of false news, obscene materials and the public order act among others.

MISA Zambia chairperson Helen Mwale said freedom of expression was limited despite it being guaranteed under article (20) of the constitution of Zambia.

She explained that MISA Zambia desired to see a Zambia where people would be free to express themselves and achieve an objective of decriminalising laws inimical to media freedom and free expression.

Ms. Mwale also indicated that the institution had sent a copy of the submission to the Zambia Law Commission as well as the office of the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Information and that the institution was yet to receive feedback.

She disclosed that MISA Zambia was hopeful that the commission would consider the submission and give it the priority and seriousness it deserved.

Ms. Mwale urged media houses in the country to follow the submission made to the commission and continue asking relevant questions until the institutions tasked to look at the amendment of the Penal Code did so.

She further added that there was need to mount a strong advocacy campaign that would put pressure on government to yield to the demands of the people as they were the main beneficiaries of the document.

Ms. Mwale said this yesterday in a speech read on her behalf by Ms. Sally Chiwama at a stakeholder’s breakfast meeting at Pamodzi hotel in Lusaka.

MISA Zambia has being an advocate for the freedom of expression and the enactment of the Access to Information (ATI) law.
 

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