A TOP Kenyan government anti-corruption fighter has resigned his position and demanded the passage of the Freedom of Information Act as a step towards fighting graft in the country, writes Dennis Itumbi for journalism.co.za.
"You cannot fight corruption when the Official Secrets Act is still intact, you have to be bold enough and pass the freedom of Information Act," said Smokin Wanjala who also announced his resignation from the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC).
Wanjala said KACC as the top agency fighting high level corruption was tied by the official secrets Act, "andÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â I now understand why the media keeps fighting for the Freedom of Information Act to pass it is impossible to fight corruption or be an investigative journalist with those kind of laws."
He argued that "the Official Secret Act is like a chain that binds you on the neck, strangles you and eventually chokes you long before you can see let alone speak the truth."
A bill on the Freedom of Information has been pending in the Kenyan Parliament for the last five years. It seeks to scrap the Official Secrets Act and replace it with free access to information.
The Kenyan media has taken to the streets twice demanding the passage of the new law that would see a stop to irregular summoning of journalists to declare their sources.