Be firm on MPs to facilitate the passage of the RTI Bill – Ghanaians Told

Madam Mensah speaking at the forum
Madam Mensah speaking at the forum

?Madam Mena Mensah, the Africa Regional Coordinator of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), a Non-Governmental Organisation, on Tuesday, urged Ghanaians to be adamant on the Legislature to pass the Right to Information (RTI) Bill.

Madam Mensah speaking at the forum
Madam Mensah speaking at the forum

She emphasized that the citizens could do this when they studied, critically examined and understood the content of the RTI Bill, so that they could prevail on Members of Parliament (MPs) in their constituencies to lead its passage.

Madam Mensah made the call at a public forum on the Bill, organized by the CHRI, an international non-government organization facilitating the passage of it, in collaboration with Royals FM, a Wenchi-based radio station in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

The forum was aimed at sensitizing the general public on the content and the current state of the RTI Bill.

Madam Mensah explained that the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs had approved for basic amendments of some provisions in the draft bill submitted to it by the Coalition on the Right to Information Ghana.

She said very soon the committee would put the bill before the Legislature for parliamentary proceedings, and therefore advised the general public to develop interest, and be firm on the MPs to facilitate its passage.

Madam Mensah said it was not true that the RTI Bill targeted certain class of people in the society, stressing that it covered all aspects of human life, and its passage would help reduce corruption and alleviate poverty.

Nana Rex Owusu Ansah Kokroko, a Former Clerk of Parliament, who presided, appealed to traditional rulers to join the advocacy towards the passage of the Bill.

He observed that though the Bill had some exemptions, when passed, interested people who did not understand matters relating to the chieftaincy institution, especially in the areas of disputes, could easily seek information and understand the institution better.

Nana Kokroko, who is the Krontihene of the Wenchi Traditional Area, and a former Board Chairman of the Ghana News Agency, stressed that access to information ought to be made easy to seekers.

This, he explained, would reduce unnecessary suspicions and unsubstantiated allegations leveled against people in responsible positions.

Mr. Owoahene Acheampong, the General Manager of Royals FM, reiterated the need for the general public to hold especially, Municipal and District Assemblies accountable, as required by the Local Government Act 462.

He explained that the passage of the RTI Bill would augment the Act 462, and empower the citizenry to demand accountability from duty-bearers.

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