By Finda Judith Ngaujah:
Strategic Communications Unit,
Ministry of Information and Communications
Commissioners of the Independent Media Commission (IMC) on Wednesday, 5th August 2020, visited the Honorable Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, at his Youyi Building office.
The visit was aimed at thanking him and his team for working assiduously to repeal Part 5 of the Public Order Act and also amending the IMC Act 2020.
IMC Chairman, George S. Khoryama, in his remarks stated that the Commission wished to meet His Excellency Brig. Rtd. Dr. Julius Maada Bio to express similar sentiments regarding his unwavering commitment to the media.
He informed that their next step is to conduct a nationwide consultation with various stakeholders on the Media Code of Practice and to sensitize journalists on the IMC laws as there are media practitioners who do not understand the laws governing the profession.
He added that the IMC needs monitors all over the country and an office in Kenema as is the case in Bo and Makeni.
The Chairman appealed to the minister for logistical support to enable them do their job efficiently as they rely on the ministry to achieve the desired results.
The Minister of Information and Communications, Mohamed Rahman Swaray, congratulated everyone who played a part in ensuring the victory that is being celebrated today and expressed deep satisfaction over the collaboration by all parties involved in achieving the remarkable feat.
As a demonstration of his commitment to working with the Commission, he urged the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Morie Momoh, to write a letter to His Excellency the President requesting a meeting with the Commissioners.
He described the Commission’s plan to engage media practitioners on the Media Code of Practice and the IMC laws as timely and a step in the right direction.
According to the minister, there are ongoing plans to meet with various donor partners to secure funding that will aid the Commission in its work.
He said he had already met with the Ministry of Finance and they are ready to give their fullest support to the Commission with their concerns to be addressed in the next budget.
He said he was very pleased that for the first time in the Commission’s existence they have launched an Advertising Committee that will be looking into adverts as there are certain adverts that are out of place and way below the belt.
Deputy Minister Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara expressed her appreciation to the Commission for collaborating with the ministry during efforts to repeal Part 5 of the Public Order Act that criminalized libel.
She asked the Commission to engage the media on the IMC Amended Act 2020 for them to understand its content better.
The Deputy Minister also assured the Commission of the Ministry’s continued support to helping the Commission succeed.