Mwanza Regional Commissioner’s office and the City Council marked most secretive public institutions in the region and hindering media freedom as article nineteen provided in the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977.
According to the research done by MISA Tanzania Chapter , on access to information in Local Government Authorities and Central Government represented by Commissioners office in Tanzania, Mwanza scored the second position behind the Dar es Salaam from the bottom to adhere access to information in both categories the Regional Commissioner’s Office and The City Council.
According to the report Mwanza Regional commissioner’s office scored 9 out of 40 and the City Council scored 9 out of 40 , according to the criteria set for the study, both of them are most enigmatic institutions
The some Regional commissioners offices done well according to the report are Arusha and Dodoma . Also some City Council done well according to the report is Mbeya City Council.
The report recommended that, the access to information Act 2016 is already in place , there is a need for sensitization of the among public servant, its is public offices where most of the information is generated , thus important they know what law entails.
There is a need for training/ seminars /workshops for public officials on freedom of information issues and the public ‘s right to know (Access to public – held information).
Tanzania signed international treaties on access to information as human right, Universal Declaration OF Human Rights, 1948, (Article 1), African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Article 4), The Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression in Africa.
Despite the absence of a Right to Information law in Tanzania, advancements in the adoption of Information and Communication technology (ICT) in the country are enabling wider information availability in the public domain.
However, several impediments still stand in the way of citizens’ enjoyment of the right to information as guaranteed by the Constitution.
According to a new report by the Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA), provisions under various laws and regulations, some as old as 40 years, have been used to restrict access to information.
MISATAN’s emphasis is on extending access to information campaigns whereby Civil Society Organizations and organized communities will be galvanized to utilize access to information to better their social –economic conditions.
By Edwin Soko, Chairpeson (OJADACT)
Executive Director( IGT)
CO- Global Mass Media Co. Ltd
Media Rights Activist