Access to Information Could Land You in Jail

By Nadia Vandergriff (Posted: May 10, 2013)

Original article from The Observer http://www.observer.ug/index.php?option

One day Abadallah walked to the National Forestry Authority as a concerned citizen seeking to get information about licensing forest reserves.

He was instead manhandled and arrested on suspicion he was impersonating someone else. The account was retold during an Access to Information (ATI) project research carried out by non-governmental organization, Green Watch in partnership with the Washington–based World Resources Institute, at a workshop held at Hotel Africana, on Wednesday.

According to research findings presented by Green Watch Director Kenneth Kakuru, most people who go out to look for information from government offices usually don’t get it.

Uganda’s Access to Information Act was enacted in 2005 but has not been fully implemented according to Kakuru. “Why do you pass a law saying every citizen shall have a right to information yet you can’t give those people the information?” he asked.