Sierra Leone Parliament Support Freedom of Information BillJuly 24, 2011
Members of the Honourable House of Parliament in Sierra Leone have overwhelmingly supported the Freedom of Information bill in a workshop held on Wednesday 10th November 2010 at the Committee room No. 1 during the pre-legislative seating.
In her contribution, Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai of the main Opposition SLPP spoke about the essence of the day and noted that the ACC Act made the necessary arrangement as to how information can be easily accessed especially for the execution of its duties.
The SLPP Parliamentarians however spoke about the essence of the Freedom of Information Bill and noted that there are too many exempt which made her uncomfortable because they are very subjective.
Hon. Bernadette Lahai spoke about the underlining issue of the bill and asked if it is in the interest of the masses and pointed out that it is a good bill because people will no longer hide important information which is required towards the promotion of the country.
Hon. Ibrahim Bundu dilated on the need to repeal some of the clauses and made particular reference to section (12) 2.
In his statement of caution to his colleagues Parliamentarians, Hon. Ibrahim Sorie said that bills are legislative proposals and it is left with honorable members of Parliament to approve or reject them.
Hon. Shiaka Musa Sama of the PMDC said people have the right to know and noted that the bill is a necessity towards the socio-economic development of the country.
The PMDC Parliamentarian revealed that it is a step in the right direction and commended the Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma for taking a bold initiative and assured of their Party’s support towards the smooth sailing of the bill.
Hon. Frank Kposowa of the main opposition SLPP said the Freedom of Information bill is important and noted that people should dwell on its aftermath because it will have far reaching consequences.
Hon. Matthew Nyuma of the SLPP quoted Article 9 of the Africa Charter on Human Rights and noted that Sierra Leone is now moving in the right direction.
While Hon. Marie Jalloh of the ruling APC stated that FOI is a basic of Fundamental human rights and raised concern as to how the message will reach the least man and woman in the village.
Responding to some of the questions and concerns raised by Members of Parliament, Kwame Yankson of the Ministry of Information and Communication said the bill is not for journalists alone but everybody