As the world observed this year Imternational Day for Universal Access to Imformation (IDUAI), the Coalition on the Right to Information – Ghana is not happy with how the Government of Ghana is implementting the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989).
According to the Coalition, the manner in which the Act is been implemented by the current governmwnt is worrying and disturbing that, if care is not taken, the purpose of passing the Act would not be realized.
International Day for Universal Access to Information (IDUAI), 28th September is a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to press home the importance of citizens across the globe to easily access informations at any given time in their respective countries to enhance the democratic process of these countries.
This was at 74th General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) held in October last year.
In Ghana, this year observation was under the theme “Ghana’s Right to Information Law: The need to build public trust in the implementation process.”
Speaking to the press in Accra, the Vice Chair Person for the Coalition, Mrs. Mina Mensah indicated that, the Coalition was with great hope when President Akufo Addo assented the Act in May last year.
But is much dissapointed at how Akufo-Addo governmemt is implementing the Act, this is as a result government failure to respond to almost all key observations and recommendations made to them.
The choice of theme according to her is on the back of sluggish implementation of the Right to Information Act 2019 so far, following the coming into effect of the Act in January this year 2020.
As the country heads to polls in December, 2020, political parties has unveiled their manifestoes which many speak little about the Right to Information Act.
This the Vice Chair for the Coalition indicated that, “In addition to this, are the largely tokenistic commitments made by the two major political parties in their respective manifestoes as our nation heads to the polls on December 7″,
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) was not spared, as it came up that the Coalition was not consulted during the drafting of its much touted People’s Manifesto that was launched recently.
“More disappointing is the nearly absent indications in the manifestos of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) on the issue of RTI.”.
Explaining further, she made reference to the section titled ‘Freedom of the Media’ in the NDC manifesto which provided a one-liner that reads “continue the implementation of the Right to Information Act 2019″.
This act, according to the Coalition inidcates that, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has nothing concrete and relevant to ensure the effective implementation of the Right to Information Act when voted for in the coming polls in December 7, 2020.
Hence shows that, the NDC is not committed to the full realization of the RTI which to them, is worrying.
Interestingly, “It is instructive to note that the Ministry of Information which is the Government Agency assigned to lead this initial implementation process has not responded to this request for information from us”, she disclosed.
Adding that, “This, in our considered opinion is not the kind of leadership that should be shown by the Ministry championing access to information”.
Source: www.thenewindependentonline.com/ Ishmael Barfi