The Deputy Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Emma Theofelus, has called on private companies to support the ministry’s drive to turn multi-purpose centres into information hubs.
The ministry introduced multipurpose centres in all regions to ensure that the information gap is bridged and communities are not deprived of relevant information.
The centres are equipped with audio-visual equipment, copying machines, computers and other communication means to benefit those in constituencies where it is situated.
Theofelus pronounced this in Gobabis recently during her awareness-creation campaign on the right to access to information and regional consultations about the Access to Information Bill.
Access to information aims to promote transparency, accountability and effective governance of all public and private bodies by establishing procedures and to enable requesters of all information to obtain records held by State institutions and private bodies.
The Bill also aims to empower and educate the public so as to understand their right to access information, understand the functions and operations of public bodies, and to effectively scrutinise and participate in decision-making by public bodies that affect their rights.
Theofelus said all citizens have the right to get information from public institutions in order to exercise all their other rights.
Appreciating the consultations, head of the Omaheke Development Foundation Moses Mberira said on occasions he personally experienced a denial of information, even in instances where he enquired about the progress of projects he is involved in.
He urged people to do away with owning public offices and being lazy, adding that civil servants should not forget that they are in those offices to serve the public. The deputy minister reminded institutions at different levels to use the current opportunity to evaluate themselves, as well as to be proactive in giving out information to the regional citizenry as such could contribute to the development of the people and the region at large.
The public is furthermore advised to familiarise themselves and submit their contributions through the regional offices of the MICT.
*Julia Kamarenga is an information officer with the MICT.