Mer01282015

Last updateMar, 27 Jan 2015 10pm

Parliament to get the freedom of information bill

Information bill Botswana - The Botswana government plans to table the Freedom of Information Bill in the next coming winter parliament session. Mokgweetsi Masisi, the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, on Monday said that the bill would be tabled before parliament once cabinet approved it.

“It is my intent to bring a Freedom of Information Bill to Parliament once its draft has been considered and approved by cabinet,” Masisi said.

In 2012, at least nine of Botswana’s civil society movements were peeved at the ruling party legislators who used their numbers in parliament to oppose the Freedom of Information Bill (FOB).

Civic communities were the Law Society of Botswana, MISA Botswana Chapter, Press Council of Botswana, Botswana Sector of Educators Trade Union, Botswana Public Employees Union, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions, Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations, Botswana Land Boards and Local Authorities Health Workers Union.

Masisi has deferred the tabling of the bill more than once, and last year his deputy, Dr. Gloria Somolekae, told Parliament that the anticipated bill would be tabled at an unspecified time.

MISA Botswana has called on Masisi to explain the delay in tabling the draft bill.

MISA says the Freedom of Information Law is long overdue, especially since the country has started implementation of e-Government and digital migration.

In addition, MISA Botswana says the law has the potential to provide an enabling environment for the two national programmes.

Pana 24/02/2014