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My views on RTI bill as a recipe for disaster hasn't changed – KT Hammond

The Member of Parliament for Asokwa, KT Hammond, has said he still stands by his contention that the passage of the Right to Information (RTI) bill into law will render the country ungovernable.

Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, KT Hammond

Though the RTI bill has been passed, he [KT Hammond] still stands by his assertion on the need for the law.

He said he is hoping that the law will live up to its purpose.

"I have not shifted one millimetre or centimetre from my views, I am still so clear in my views. It is law now, why don’t we just wait, for the implementation and all, it could turn up that it was just a red herring on my part, that I was unnecessarily agitated by it," he said on Accra-based Citi FM.

The MP in 2018 mounted strong opposition to the passage of the RTI bill.

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He said "It is a recipe for disaster. It is a recipe for bad governance... Ministers can't operate, governments cannot proceed effectively, governance cannot take place meaningfully."

However, Parliament has finally passed and approved the RTI bill into law.

The bill was finally passed after its third reading on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.

The RTI Bill had been in and out of parliament for almost two decades. Civil Society and the media have been very instrumental in the passed of the Bill into law.

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What is RTI bill?

The right to information is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the country's 1992 Constitution and recognized as a right under International Conventions on Human rights. The bill will give substance to Article 21 (1) (f) of the Constitution which states that "All persons shall have the right to information subject to such qualifications and laws as are necessary for a democratic society".

It was first drafted 22 years ago under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA.

The draft Executive Bill was subsequently reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was never laid in Parliament until February 5, 2010.

It was subsequently withdrawn to review some clauses.

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Since then, efforts by several advocacy groups to put pressure on the duty bearers to have the Bill passed have also not yielded any positive results until now.

Observers have criticized successive governments for lacking the political will to pass the Bill.

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