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mkuzanziThe articles on freedom of information proposed in the draft constitution should be explicit to

guarantee editorial freedom as well.

Discussing the question of freedom of information, delegates to a one day meeting of the Constitutional Council for Media held in Zanzibar on July 3, 2013, noted that it was imperative for the constitution to define clearly the position and rights of the public and that of the media in seeking and disseminating of information.

The Executive Secretary of the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT), Kajubi Mukajanga underscored that it was pertinent that the right to information and the freedom of the media should be spelt out clearly and in simple language.

MCT has been designated as the Constitutional Council for the media industry and Mukajanga urged participants to the Council’s meeting to extensively deliberate and dissect important issues related to media which should be accommodated in the new constitution.

He said the Zanzibar meeting was the first of six zonal meetings  which have been organized for the Constitutional Council and will finalized by a big meeting expected to be held later in Dar es Salaam.

The proposals and recommendation from the meeting will be presented to Constitutional Review Commission headed by Justice Joseph Warioba.

The Regulations and Standards Manager of MCT, Pili Mtambalike, said that although articles 30 and 31 of the first draft constitution dwelt on issues of freedom of information, they are mute on several pertinent matters.

“Editorial Freedom has not been given due attention in the draft constitution”, Mtambalike said pointing that it was important this freedom be clearly explained to guarantee efficient implementation of right to Information.

‘The public’s right to information and the right and freedom of information should be explained in detail to ensure that journalists and the public know their rights in questioning, accessing and dissemination of information, she said.

She also said that freedom of expression; the right to communicate without interference are issues that should be accommodated in the new constitution.

The Zanzibar meeting drew participants from Zanzibar and Pemba.

Another zonal meeting for Dar es Salaam zone starts on July 5, 2013.

End

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