ARTICLE 19 welcomes the initiative of the Draft Right to Information Law (“draft law”) noting the efforts over ten years to finalize and pass an access to information law in Mozambique. The draft law seeks to serve the realization of access to information in Mozambique for the promotion and protection of public participation, transparency and the proactive disclosure of information by both public and private bodies.
Access information is widely held to be a cornerstone right, crucial both in its own regard and for the functioning of democracy. It is also important for transparency of public affairs and the protection of other human rights. It facilitates both the revelation of human rights violations and exercise other human rights. Finally, the exercise of the right to information is dependent on the creation and maintenance of public records and therefore indirectly contributes to government efficiency.
Despite some positive provisions towards securing the right to information, the draft law in its current form largely fails to adequately enforce the constitutionally enshrined right to information.
This comment highlights recommendations as well as the positive and weak provisions of the draft law; these draw upon regional and international standards, as well as best practices of other states regarding the right to information.