‘RTI law panacea to fighting corruption’

George Konlan, the Eastern Regional Programmes Officer of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), has affirmed that the Right to Information (RTI) law is the panacea in the fight against corruption and must be passed at all cost.

 

“The Commission is worried about delay in the passage of the RTI bill because it will complement the whistleblower act to expose corrupt practices” and raised concerns over Members of Parliament delaying its passage and insisted that “their actions has deepened suspicions of not interested in the fight against corruption”.

Mr Konlan was speaking on the sidelines of a roundtable discussions on ‘The youth in the fight against corruption in Ghana’, held in Koforidua in the Eastern Region under the auspices of the National Youth Authority (NYA) to mark African Youth Day on the theme: ‘Raising youth voices against corruption.’
“We are not happy because we want citizens to enjoy their freedoms and liberties, we want them to know, one of the reasons why it has not been passed, political office holders think it might pose threat to them and may have to disclose documents they may not like to disclose.

“Recently, I heard our parliamentarians say it is likely they can’t pass it before parliament rises, they are reluctant to pass it, they alone know why, we can only speculate, they do not know they are confirming suspicions they cannot absorb from practices but expose them to public ridicule.

“The Right to Information Bill will help to fight corruption, it will enable the citizenry get the evidence they need to properly report corruption because we encourage people to report corruption but if you report corruption and you do not have any iota of evidence it becomes complicated.

“Evidence of corruption is difficult to secure, the RTI bill will make it legally possible for the citizenry to visit any institution and demand certain documents and if they refuse you proceed to court to compel them to release the documents.

“The RTI is a fundamental human right guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution and ratified as a right under International Conventions on Human Rights drafted in 1999 and reviewed in 2003, 2005 and 2007 but was not presented to parliament until February 5, 2010 but has not been passed despite undergoing countless number of amendments,” Mr Konlan lamented. –starrfmonline.com

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