Action on for free access to graft reports

By: JOHN NJAGI

Public officials will find it difficult to deny essential information held by the Government, according to a new proposal.

It would also enhance exposure of corruption by the media.

A draft law proposes a repeal of the Official Secrets Act, which has been abused by Government officials to impose a blanket restriction on information meant to help citizens and enhance their access to services.

The draft is sponsored by Nyeri Woman Representative Priscilla Nyokabi and specifies information that should be protected, especially on security and the intrusion of the privacy of individuals.

However, it ensures that journalist are not muzzled or arrested for reporting on corruption.

“The Official Secrets Act will be repealed since the Bill provides for information that should be protected from the public so that no one will use it as a cover to hide corruption,” she said.

MPs who debated the Bill on Thursday condemned the arrest last week of Nation editor John Ngirachu for reporting on the questionable spending of Sh3.8 billion by the Interior ministry in a single day.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION