Monday, November 29, 2021

Guma Moyo says Attorney General advised him to reject Information Bill

The Attorney General Chambers has distanced itself from allegations that Attorney General Athalia Molokomme advised Tati East Member of Parliament, Samson Guma Moyo, to object to the Freedom of Information Bill that was rejected in the just ended parliament.

Guma Moyo had informed parliament when debating the bill in the just ended parliament session that he was advised by the Attorney General to oppose the bill.

The MP claimed that he was advised by the Attorney General in the presence of  Thapelo Olopeng, a close friend of President Ian Khama.

Molokomme noted during an interview that she never advised the MP to oppose the bill. She said that it was not her role to advise individual Members of Parliament on parliamentary business .

 Molokomme stated that her role was to advise parliament through Parliamentary Council not as alleged by Guma Moyo who had indicated that he was opposing the bill because he had been advised by the AG that it was in conflict with other laws in the constitution.

Quizzed why the government was against the Freedom of Information Bill despite the AG’s involvement, Stella Moroka, the Attorney General Chambers Secretary for Legislature, explained that after drafting the bill, Gaborone Central MP Dumelang Saleshando ┬áengaged consultants who altered the bill that was drafted with the AG input.

Moroka  stated that they were initially involved in the drafting of the Freedom of Information Bill before Saleshando brought in consultants who also added some clauses in the bill.

 Moroka noted that some clauses that were added could have influenced the  Minister of Presidential Affairs.

 She indicated that the bill that was presented before parliament was not the same as the one which was initially drafted by the Attorney General.

Moroka pointed out that the AG always assists MPs to draft private member’s bill though it is not the AG’s primary mandate.

Saleshando voiced displeasure with Moyo’s statements about the AG advising on his bill, saying that if there were such attempts by the AG, it was unfortunate.

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