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Saying I'm ignorant of RTI Bill 'below the belt' – K.T. Hammond

Wed, 14 Nov 2018 Source: Class FM

The Member of Parliament for Adansi Asokwa, Mr. K. T. Hammond has said he stands by his comments that the passage of the Right to Information Bill will not inure to the benefit of the country.

Mr Hammond has been criticised by pressure group OccupyGhana and a group of media personnel known as the Media Coalition on RTI, for opposing the RTI bill which will guarantee unfettered access to information.

Arguably the oldest bill, it has been in and out of parliament for close to two decades.

Mr Hammond’s position is that, if passed, the law will be a “disaster” and a recipe for “bad governance” in the country.

“[The RTI] is a recipe for disaster, it’s a recipe for bad governance. Tony Blair went on to tell the whole world how stupid he was for bringing the RTI bill, knowing how belatedly the implications were. He said they were wrong, it was one useless piece of legislation that he passed and he is very upset about it and we learn from history. We sit down here and we don’t want to learn from history, so fine let's go ahead”, Mr Hammond told journalists.

Pressure group, OccupyGhana, for example, has said Mr Hammond’s fears are antiquated and out of sync with modern day democratic tenets. The group believes the lawmaker does not understand the RTI bill.

In response, Mr Hammond said he stands by his position.

“What I’ve found a little bit more disappointing was when one suggested that they didn’t think I had the document and they didn’t think I had understood it. That is below the belt. They [CSOs] should give me a little bit more credit.

“They may not like my views but to suggest that I do not know a thing about RTI is a bit unfair. I did not expect that they will clap for me. I knew that this Bill will not inure to the benefit of the entire country. I have suggested that this is a Bill that the media is interested in and I stand by it. Criticise me, but give me a little bit more credit,” he told Class News.

Source: Class FM

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