swazi Government to table five media draft Bills
November 11th, 2009 - 13:05 UTC
by Andy Sennitt.

The Government of Swaziland will table five media draft Bills in Parliament before the end of 2009 for debate before they are passage into laws, the Minister for Information, Communications and Technology, Nelsiwe Shongwe has said. Writing in her ministry’s second quarter performance report, Minister Shongwe said the draft Bills will be tabled along with five other communications and ICT policies government has drafted and wants to adopt.

The draft media Bills include the Draft Swaziland Broadcasting Bill, the Books and Newspapers Amendment Bill, the Draft Media Commission Bill, the Swaziland Communications Commission Bill, and the Electronic Communications Bill.

The Minister said three of the Bills, the Draft Media Commission Bill and the Books and Newspapers Amendment Bill have already been submitted to Cabinet for approval before they are tabled in Parliament.

However, the Media Commission Bill, which seeks to regulate the media by statute and was recently publicized for public comments, has been rejected by media stakeholders.

Some of the Bills such as the Swaziland Broadcasting Bill have been pending since 2007 when they were first drafted by government and introduced to stakeholders and the public. They later stalled halfway through stakeholder consultations. MISA-Swaziland along with other stakeholders was invited to make inputs in some of the Bills but the latest versions have not been made public.