By Arinda Nsheeka Wilfred
The Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) has challenged the government and Parliament to set up an independent oversight body to implement the Access to Information Act 2005 if the law is to be relevant in the country.
According to Sarah Faguet, the senior programmes officer at AFIC, the law in its current form has some technicalities that are hard to be implemented by the government without an independent body for transparency, saying that there has been much denial of information from public entities yet the law is there granting people to access information within the law.
Ms Faguet noted that to promote transparency, accountability and public participation the law must be revived in order to succumb vent the challenges in it.
She made the remarks over the weekend in Ntungamo Municipality during a training organised by AFIC in partnership with the South Western Institute for Policy and Advocacy (SOWIPA). The training was aimed at public procurement information disclosure and data needs of the various stakeholders involved in public contracting which was a follow up training on September 19, 2018.
AFIC is a Pan Africa civil society membership organisation and resource center promoting access to information, open contracting and open government across Africa.
Faguet revealed that the AFIC is going to petition to the Ugandan Parliament indicating the evidence such that they can see the gap between the law and its implementation and the need for the over sight body.
She clarified that the law does not give the development partners mandate for the citizens to appeal after being denied information saying that it is costly Ugandans to go to courts of laws.
The 18 months improving social service delivery through open contracting in Uganda project which started August this year has trained 150 CSOs in six districts of Kabale, Kanungu, Mbarara, Ntungamo, Nebbi and Pakwach and it will end in January 2020.
The follow up training was attended by CSOs, media, civic and political leaders within Ntungamo District.