The Government is committed to the proactive disclosure of information and the protection of the media to promote governance and accountability in public institutions, Principal Secretary for Broadcasting and Telecommunication Mrs. Fatuma Hirsi Mohammed has said
Speaking at a Nairobi hotel during celebrations to mark the World Radio Day, Mrs. Mohammed said besides providing information to the public on request, government institutions should take the initiative to volunteer information in line with the constitution to enable citizens make informed decisions.
Mrs. Mohammed said, the Government recognizes the effectiveness of Kenyan’s right to Access information is dependent on the commitment to effectively implement freedom of information laws and the protection and promotion of the fundamental rights.
“As part of this commitment, the Ministry of ICT last month launched a 15-member taskforce that will look into improving Information and communications functions of Government activities concerning social, economic and political development in the country”.
On radio as a medium, the Principal Secretary cited the channel as the fastest growing medium of information exchange and dissemination in Kenya. She said that recent studies have portrayed the media as one of the most trusted institutions in the country.
The Principal Secretary noted that most Kenyans rely on radio for information, a situation she observed, stakeholders could leverage on to build trust, correct wrong perceptions and prejudices.
She emphasized on the duty of the media to inform and educate the public and keep the government in check. “For the last one decade, radio has played a crucial role in advancing democratic governance, reforms and accountability in the country.”
The Principal Secretary acknowledged that a strong, independent, and professional media is critical to building peace and cohesion in the country. However, she warned the media against corruption, which she noted, has led to loss of credibility and trust among journalists in the society. “We must work to restore this credibility and trust from people, otherwise we will have ourselves to blame.”
Mrs. Mohammed called on support of the media in providing information to the public on government projects, security, and disaster preparedness.
February 13, 2019 – Valentine Gesare