Be free with the press

There is a saying that information is ‘wealth and power.’ But some government departments are still denying the media critical information that Rwandans need, as a right to be informed.

There is a saying that information is ‘wealth and power.’ But some government departments are still denying the media critical information that Rwandans need, as a right to be informed.

And when journalists get facts wrong, the same people are quick to abuse reporters that they are uninformed lot. But the biggest danger when you choose not to talk to the press creates suspicion that you may be covering-up the rot or corrupt tendencies under the guise of the oath of secrecy and collective responsibility.

Remember the office you are running is not your personal estate, but for Rwandans. The Rwandans go ahead to refuel your vehicle, pay house rent on top of your salary. Fine, there is information that threatens the security of the country, that not everyone except privileged persons access.

I agree it will be wrong if such information leaked to the press; but for a security minister to threaten journalists who access information which does not threaten the security of Rwanda with jail a term is wrong, and could be interpreted as stifling media rights.

Patriotic Rwandans, who feel individuals should not stall development and provision of services in the country, provide this information to media houses either through reporters or their editors.

These patriotic Rwandans believe communication can help deter fraud and irregularities by raising awareness and promoting public debate.

Therefore, enhancing the flow of information will facilitate the making of objective decisions. Remember Information is only good when timely, for sensible decisions.

Kanombe

 

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