Majority Leader Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu has urged the media to strive hard to protect the integrity of people rather than seeking to tarnish hard-earned reputation.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by the Deputy Majority Leader and Minister of State in charge of Procurement, Adwoa Safo, in a ceremony to mark World Press Freedom Day in Accra on Wednesday 3 May.
“I want to plead with you as we do our work as the media, as is guaranteed in our constitution, as we push for this bill [RTI bill] to be [passed], I believe that the hard-earned reputation of people should not be compromised. Because if you look in article 162, 163, 164, it also talks about the responsibility of the media. So inasmuch as we want to check everybody, let’s make sure that in doing so, we do not tarnish the hard-earned reputation of people,” he said.
On his part, the Information Minister, Mustapha Hamid, said the long-awaited Right to Information (RTI) bill would be passed into law by Ghana’s parliament in July.
“We were advised that once the life of a certain parliament lapses, whatever bills were before that parliament ought to be relayed because a new parliament has come into being. And so to assure you that per the calendar that we have sent to parliament, it is in there that in the May to July session of this parliament, the RTI shall be before them for debate and for passage; that is a given, it is non-negotiable,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu pledged the commitment of parliament to pass the RTI and Broadcasting bills before the expiration of their tenure of office.
He also called for the need to properly define the roles of the National Communications Authority (NCA) and the National Media Commission (NMC) with regards to who regulates the airwaves. According to him, parliament cannot continue to be in a dilemma in its quest to protect press freedom.