Mozambique: Nampula Authorities Promise Access to Information

Maputo — The authorities in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula have guaranteed that local sources of information are open and willing to cooperate with the press, respecting the basic principle of citizens' right to information.

Both the Secretary of State for Nampula, Mety Gondola, and the provincial governor, Manuel Rodrigues, gave this guarantee on Friday at a meeting they requested with journalists based in Nampula city.

At the meeting Rodrigues said he wanted to maintain the practice of close relations with the media so that the press can publish the events that mark the day-to-day life of the province.

"There are no doors for journalists. We are open to providing all the information necessary so that the activities undertaken by the government may be made available to everybody", he said. "This is the philosophy of our work, and so you should not be afraid to seek us out for clarification of any information".

For his part, Gondola played down the reports circulating according to which there is some malaise in the country due to decentralized governance, Far from rivalry, he claimed there is coordination between the Secretary of State and the governor in all activities undertaken to date.

"We are working in coordination, just as the law dictates, and we would like to tell journalists that you can count on our collaboration, so that the information you wish to transmit to the public may be as correct as possible", said Gondola. "That is in the interests of all of us, the government and the press".

The Nampula provincial secretary of the National Journalists' Union (SNJ), Herminia Francisco, recalled the exemplary relationship that journalists had enjoyed with the previous provincial government and hoped that the new government would follow the same path.

"With the previous governor and his executive, we had an increasingly healthy relationship in terms of access to sources of information", she said. "We hope that this meeting is a sign that even better days will come, since our interest is common".

According to Francisco, currently there are 99 journalists in Nampula, working for 17 different media bodies.

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