Chitungwiza Community Development Network (CCDN) joins the rest of the world in commemorating the international day for universal access to information.
International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), celebrated on 28th September, is a day established by UNESCO and calls for ensuring public access to information and protection of fundamental freedoms.
On this day the world celebrate a basic human right: access to information. It is bound up with the right to information, an integral part of the right to freedom of expression and the right to media freedom.
Without access to information, members of the public are not able to seek and receive information on issues of essence to the general public. Without it, governments cannot be held accountable for their actions, nor are they open to public scrutiny.
In Zimbabwe human rights continue to be violated and abused, youths and women who are involved in journalism continue to suffer persecution and torture at the hands of state and security agents who are supposed to be protecting them.
Freedom of expression is an inalienable human right. It encompasses the freedoms of speech, press, religion, assembly, and association, and the corollary right to receive information without interference and without compromising personal privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
Section 62 (2) of the Constitution reads, “Every person, including the Zimbabwean media, has the right to any information held by any person, including State and other government institution ,in so far as the information is required for public accountability and protection of a right”.
CCDN and other civil society organisations call upon the government of Zimbabwe to licence community radios. Community radios empower communities to chart their development agenda through determining programming and also ensuring participatory development by enabling communities to operate the medium for communication.