Former President John Kufuor has waded into the controversies surrounding the delay in the passage of the Right to Information Bill saying clauses of the bill must be pruned so it does not hurt national security.
“The real challenge is not government refusing to pass the bill. But the text of the Bill has not been revisited enough to offer guarantees to information that are of security and stability concerns to the integrity of the nation itself.
“This Bill must be passed to achieve better governance, Yes. But it must not be at the cost of security and stability of the nation,” Mr. Kufuor noted at an invent at the University of Professional Studies in Accra Wednesday.
The chairman of the constitutional, legal and Parliamentary affairs committee of parliament has also warned against stampeding parliament to pass the bill.
“That’s where you can make and unmake the laws. So, if you don’t take your time because pressure seems to be coming from all corners of the society, and you decide to rush the bill into a law, you may end up making a lot of mistakes which cannot be corrected until the whole law is holistically reviewed or amended,” he said.
As it stands now, the RTI bill is likely to be passed next year and according to the Majority Leader Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu, the first two weeks of Parliament’s meeting would be set aside to pass the Right to Information Bill into Law should it fail to do so before it rises on Saturday 22 December.
Speaking at a dialogue between the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Civil Society, he said the House will try its best within the constraints of considering appropriations to pass the bill before it rises.
But if that fails, the House will dedicate the first two weeks of the next meeting which begins in January to work on finalizing the bill, the Majority leader who’s also the Parliamentary Affairs Minister added.
Delays in the passage of the bill have been frustrating to journalists and the coalition pushing for its passage.