Members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives have pressed on the Isle government to act on the
proposed bills on Media Services and Right to Information prepared by media stakeholders.
Contributing to the budget speech on the estimates of the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Sports presented by the Minister for Information, Said Ali Mbarouk on July 26, 2012, the House Representatives said it was imperative that the proposals were acted upon.
“We believe that the proposals by media stakeholders under the coordination of the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT) are crucial and pertinent”, they emphasised.
The minister in his speech did not touch on the issues of the proposed media bills but the chairperson of the relevant committee on Information, Asha Bakari was categoric.
Speaking immediately after the Minister, the Representative presented her committee’s summary on the ministry’s activities and cited the archaic and oppressive legislations on media.
She noted that though clause 18 section 2 of the Zanzibar constitution provides for freedom of expression, it was surprising why the ministry had not acted on the proposed information bills.
The Representative said she was certain the ministry has received the stakeholders proposals and that she was surprised why it was mum.
Another Representative Hamza Hassan Juma, of Kwamtipura constituency commended the Media Council of Tanzania for a job well done by coordinating the preparation of the proposed bills in 2010.
He however noted with dismay why the minister did not mention the proposals in his speech.
Ismail Jussa Ladhu the Representative of Mji Mkongwe asked the minister to repeal all oppressive laws including the Newspaper Act No. 5.
Minister Mbarouk is on record to have admitted that he was willing to act on the media stakeholders proposed media bills by September this year.
He said that when he visited the offices of the Media Council of Tanzania in Zanzibar a few days after he was appointed Information Minister.