By Sulayman Waan
John Charles Njie, Chairman of Association of Non- Governmental Organization (TANGO) has unveiled a coalition of access to information that comprises Tango, The Gambia Press Union and other bodies had issue a bill of access to Information to the Justice and Information Ministers and hope for approval in December.
Njie was speaking during a two-day training aims at strengthening the capacity of CSOs actors on freedom of assembly and rights to association in the Gambia.
On 4-5 September, 2019 training was organised by Initiative for the Promotion of Democracy and Good Governance (IPDG) in partnership with African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDH).
“We are not going to fight; we are going to engage and negotiate to see how we would come up with an access to information bill that will help every one of us.
“So that if anyone wants information from government, they are not going to tell you it’s not available. The law will insist that the information we want is access,” he said.
According to him, the Justice and Information Ministers were committed when his team met them regarding the access to information bill. He added that the ministers had assured the coalition that by December the access to information bill would be put in place.
Njie added that the bill had been drafted and now the coalition as well as government is on the verge to have series of technical meetings so as to look into the draft.
Njie also the coordinator of CSOs Network on Transitional Justice said the coalition would also look into the freedom of assembly and rights to association to ensure the draft bill for access to information is combined with that of freedom of assembly and rights to information.
However, he commended the Gambia Government for its openness and commitment to ensure the state have access to information.