AFIC, partners urge Parliament to allocate resources to implement Access to information regulation

We need to request parliament to allocate resources for Ministries Department and Agencies s to implement the Access to information Act 2005. by making the information requests, MDAs will know what we need.

AFIC, partners urge Parliament to allocate resources to implement Access to information regulation
ED AFIC to to representative of Political Parties in a Training at Africana hotel

 In a bid to ensure citizens make informed choices and meaningfully participate in the electoral processes, and exercise their rights in contributing to the national development, the different ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) have been urged to invest in access to information through putting in place guidelines to access to information and fast truck implement the Access to Information Act.

MDAs including parliament, Electoral Commission, Ministry of ICT and National Guidance, The Security Forces among others who are particularly mandated to allocate resources, protect the citizens, carry out elections and other function  have been asked to enhance the access to information process.

This according to the study conducted by Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) come at a time when there are challenges in responding to access to information requests made by different individuals and organizations to the duty bearers which indicated a low levels of transparency.

The Executive Director AFIC Gilbert Sendugwa while meeting representatives Political Parties on Tuesday 15th December 2020 at Hotel Africana, said that the opportunity that citizens have is vested in the constitution to engage stakeholders to invest resources to enhance access to information.

He said that government agencies like Electoral Commission can improve the electoral process when citizens have information to prevent citizens from minimizing their trust in the outcomes of elections, create violence, and incur legal costs among others.

“We need everybody to access the information. The opportunity we have is in the constitution to hold duty bearers accountable. We need to engage stakeholders like parliament to allocate resources to other MDAs to ensure every citizen gets information” he said

Gilbert added that if every MDA is to implement the Access to Information Act and proactively disclose information, there is need to consider allocation the national budget for implementing the act in MDA like Minister of Gender, Electoral Commission and other.

He called upon individual and organisation to make requests for information to inform the MDAs of our need and to for them to develop guidelines to disclose information which he said will increase participation in election processes.  

The Assistant Commissioner, Communication and Information Dissemination in the ministry of ICT and National guidance, Sylvia Biraabwa advised that in order for the avoid electorate from disguising voting, which she said affects elections results, there is need to emphasis the issue of voter empathy through educating  the voter the importance of voting.

The training attracted representative from National Resistance Movement party, Uganda People Congress, Alliance for Transformation, among others