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Criticisms trail final copies of Access to Information Bill, as group claims its contributions ignored


The Access to Information Bill (ATI) Coalition has expressed dissatisfaction with contents of the final ATI document, saying it ignored submissions by various stakeholders.

The coalition through its Chairperson, Alex Muyebe, said stakeholders who appeared as witnesses before parliamentary committee made contributions to strengthen the Bill and ensure the final document lived up to the international standards of what constitutes a very good ATI law.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Muyebe explained that major contributions such as maximum disclosure, limited scope of exceptions, public interest and other principles according to the ATI model law were left out.

Read more: Parliament makes history, passes Access to Information Bill

“This is very disappointing given the seriousness with which stakeholders took this exercise,” he pointed out.

Furthermore, Muyobe acknowledged that ATI law would have its limitations but hoped that its enactment and its enforcement created an opportunity for its refinement over time through legal reform processes and through interpretation of some aspects of it by the courts of law.

“Given the long way we have come as a country, we believe that having something to work with is better than having nothing at all,” he stressed.

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