Mps, civil society push for implementation of access to information law

Mps, civil society push for implementation of access to information law

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Nairobi, KENYA: A section of Members of Parliament and civil society have urged the Ministry of Information and the office of ombudsman to fast track implementation of access to information law; so as to help fight corruption.

Speaking in a meeting which brought together legislators ,civil society and citizens in Nairobi on Wednesday to discuss challenges of implementation of the law, the stakeholders called for faster implementation of the law.

Nyeri county Women Rep Priscilla Nyokabi urged relevant authorities to move with speed and implement what she termed a crucial law; which will enable citizens to access  information within various departments of the government.

“If an MP can’t access the document , you can imagine what it takes for the public to access the document. It is difficult and devolution is key as to why we need the information, the resources available in the counties are enough for the development that you want to see.”Nyokabi said.

She said that this will help in curbing corruption within government and bring about accountability among elected leaders and government officials who are given mandate to provide services for Wananchi.

She encouraged citizens to seek any information they want from the government following the fact that the number of people who seek such information is extremely low.

Nyokabi said that there is need for the county governments to uphold 40 percent recurrent expenditure and 60 percent development expenditure formula, in all sectors in order to attain developmental goals.

On August 31st this year, president Uhuru Kenyatta signed access to information bill which was aimed at effecting Article 35 of the Kenyan Constitution which provides for citizens’ right to access to information held by the government.

Prior to the enactment of the new constitution in 2010, Kenyans could not readily access information held by the state, a situation that has since improved. The new law seeks to not only improve this process but expand it to ensure the information provided is both timely and accurate.

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