FLASHBACK: RTI bill will be passed in 100 days - Bawumia
The Coalition on the Right to Information has undertaken several projects to raise awareness on the need for a right to information legislation.
The bill has been before parliament for too long and the Members of Parliament seems to show no commitment towards its passage.
In February 2017, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia assured Ghanaians that the government will ensure Parliament passes the bill in 100 days and the government has been in power over 600 days and the bill is still in limbo despite pressure being mounted on the government.
In March 2018, Nana Addo also served notice that he will give impetus to his fight against corruption by impressing on Parliament to pass the RTI bill before it goes on recess.
Speaking at the 61st Independence Day celebration at the Black Star Square on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, he promised the will come to being to strengthen the fight against corruption.
"Fellow Ghanaians, corruption, or, more specifically, the stealing of public funds, continues to hold back the development of our nation. Corruption is not a partisan matter and we must all act to protect the public purse. With the office of the Special Prosecutor now in place we can expect more prosecutions for corruption in the coming months and public officials, present and past, should be on notice that they would be held accountable for their stewardship of our public finances," he noted.
Pulse.com.gh revisits what Bawumia said on the passage of the RTI bill and here's what he said in 2017 after the government was sworn into office.
"Our government has already made it clear that we will be passing the Right to Information Act. We will make sure a special prosecutor’s office is set up to prosecute corruption and we will amend the criminal code to move the corruption from a misdemeanor to a felony. These are just some of the actions we intend to implement this year," Bawumia said at a forum in Accra.
The RTI bill has suffered several setbacks in Parliament with the Right to Information Coalition, earlier threatening to stage a protest against government over the delay in the passage of the Bill.
The right to information bill is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country’s 1992 Constitution and recognised as a right under the International Convention on Human Rights. The bill will give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the constitution which state "All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society".
The bill was drafted in 1999 and reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was not presented to Parliament.
This is affirmed by Article 1(1) of the 1992 Constitution which categorically states that ‘the sovereignty of Ghana resides in the people of Ghana in whose name and for whose welfare the powers of government are to be exercised.’ This principle is affirmed by article 21(1)(f) of the same Constitution which grants ‘all persons . The right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary in a democratic society’.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Sulemana Braimah, has revealed that the government was not interested in transparency and did not want to fight corruption, hence the refusal to pass the bill.
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