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A Critique of Legal Framework Facilitating Access to Government Information in Tanzania

A Critique of Legal Framework Facilitating Access to Government Information in Tanzania
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Author(s): John Ubena (Stockholm University, Sweden)
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 26
Source title: Digital Access and E-Government: Perspectives from Developing and Emerging Countries
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Peter Mazebe II Mothataesi Sebina (University of Botswana, Botswana), Kgomotso Hildegard Moahi (University of Botswana, Botswana) and Kelvin Joseph Bwalya (University of Botswana, Botswana & University of Johannesburg, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5868-4.ch009

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Abstract

This chapter provides a critical analysis of the legal framework for access to information particularly information held by government in Tanzania. The analysis intends to establish whether the existing Right To Information (RTI) legal framework and ICT development in Tanzania facilitates universal and requisite access to government information. In order to do that, the chapter utilises a literature review to understand contemporary trends in both theory and practice. In addition, journal articles, books, reports, case law, and pieces of legislation focusing on RTI are visited to obtain deeper insights in the topic under scrutiny. The findings indicate that, despite Tanzania's efforts to embrace democracy virtues, good governance, and technology, the country lacks adequate legal framework to facilitate universal access to government information and ensure that the Right To Information (RTI) is observed in all the socio-economic contexts. To rectify this problem, there is need to enact the RTI law with clear focus of encouraging access to government information. Although two bills (the Media Service Bill [MSB] and the 2011 RTI) are currently being debated, it is not clear yet when they will become law and subsequently practiced.

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