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Absence of RTI law mockery - Anti-Corruption Coalition revives call

The Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) has reiterated the country’s fight against corruption will continue to be hampered if the Right to Information bill is not passed.

Executive Secretary of the Coalition, Beauty Emefa Narteh said it has become difficult to expose corruption because information is not easily accessible.

Speaking at the Joy FM’s Thought Leadership programme on RTI Thursday, she said Ghana’s democracy will be a mockery if the bill is not passed.

Related Article: CSOs meet Akufo-Addo; lament delay in RTI passage

“It is important for citizens to have access to information [and] until that is done this country will be shortchanged,” she told participants at the Accra International Press Centre.

Ghana’s attempt to pass the RTI bill started in 1999, when it was first drafted by the former President Jerry John Rawlings regime.

The bill has since gone through a number of reviews in 2003, 2005 and 2007 to correct some inconsistencies lawmakers and RTI Coalition claimed were present in the bill.

Last year marked the 13th year the country tried to pass the bill like other West African countries such as Burkina Faso, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
But Ghana appears to be marking time when others have fully passed the Bill into law.
GACC, a grouping of public, private and civil society organisations, said the time has come for government to listen to its people and do things in the interest of the country.

“Access to information is a given [and] and it has to be now so that we take the fight against corruption seriously,” Mrs Narteh said.

The Coalition also registered its displeasure with the handling of the asset declaration regime by the government.
GACC Executive Secretary said the Coalition is working with the Auditor-General to publish the list of government officials who have declared their assets.
Mrs Narteh said the publication will enable them monitor current and past government officials who have complied with the regulation.

The Joy FM Thought Leadership programme was on the theme, 'Public Access to Information in Ghana, or a Myth' and supported by Star Ghana, UKAid, European Union, DANIDA, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, and Freedom of Information.
The event was carried live on Joy News (TV), Joy FM, and The Moderator was Samson Lardi Anyenini.


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