Tanzania Will Seek Input on RTI Bill, Minister Says

11 February 2013

Tanzania’s Minister for Constitutional and Legal Affairs, Mathias Chikawe, recently told representatives of the National Coalition on Right to Information that the government will seek public input on the drafting of a law.

 “As long as I am here, I will make sure we get more views so that we won’t be criticised for not accommodating broader participation in the whole process of the new legislation, Chikawe told a coalition delegation during a meeting in his office in Dar es Salaam, according to a Feb. 8 media report. The delegation was led by the  chairperson Kajubi Mukajanga, the Executive Secretary of the Media Council of Tanzania (MCT).

The government recently signaled that it will seek to pass a media regulation bill before turning to right to information legislation. (See previous FreedomInfo.org report.)

Chikawe assured the delegation that the government supports passage of an access law and will advertize for public comment. Chikawe coordinates Tanzania’s involvement in the implementation of the global Open Government Partnership (OGP), and his ministry was recently given the portfolio for the access to information bill, which previously had been the province of the Ministry for Information, Youth Culture and Sports.

The Coalition on the Right to Information, headed by the MCT, is made up of Members of Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA), Media Owners Association of Tanzania (MOAT), Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF), Tanzania Citizen Information Bureau, Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), National Organisation for Legal Aid (nola), Media Institute of Southern Africa –Tanzania Chapter (MISA-Tan0 Article XIX and Commonwealth Human Rights Institute.

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