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DaysThe commemoration for the Right to Know Day marked internationally September28 each year, has been proposed to be observed regional level in Tanzania from next year.

This was one of the proposals on the way forward in respect of the day raised during this year’s ceremony held at national level in Mwanza on September 28, 2013.

The other proposals include promoting advocacy for realization of the right to know and raising public awareness on the issue.

Two papers were presented during the meeting jointly organized by the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) and the Union of Tanzania Press Clubs (UTPC).

The papers were The Impact of Legal System on Press Freedom in Tanzania which was presented by a lecturer at the Saint Augustine University (SAUT) David Mrisho and Promoting constitutional guarantees on the Right to Information and freedom of the Press in the new constitution presented by Donald Kasongi a consultant on Sustainable Development from a Mwanza based establishment known as Government Links Tanzania ..

Both Mrisho and Kasongi in their presentations dissected pertinent issues linked to freedom of expression and press freedom.

Mrisho argued that despite the seemingly freedom as reflected by the big number of newspapers and other media outlets in the country, the question freedom of media is still wanting as it is not legally guaranteed.

For his part, Kasongi underscored the role of the media saying it generates excitement in the process leading to a new constitution.

The meeting which attracted representatives from media outlets, media training institutions, political parties and religious institutions was officially opened by the Mwanza Regional Commissioner Everist Ndikilo.

In his speech read on his behalf by the Ilemela District Commissioner, Amina Masenza, he emphasized the government’s position on ensuring the realization of the right to information to the general public and the media.

He counseled that the rights should be pursued responsibly In civilized manner and not aggressively to avoid destabilizing peace, tranquility and harmony in the country.

The Right to know was initiated by activists of the Right to Information legislation at a meeting held in Sophia, Bulgaria in 2002 with the goal of ensuring access by the public to the information held government and officials so as to hold them accountable.

The day has been marked since 2003 but here in Tanzania it started to be commemorated three years ago.

 

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