Finance minister Goodall Gondwe says Access to Information bill (ATI) will be tabled in parliament February because it is part of conditionalities that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has set for Malawi to qualify for the Breston Wood’s extended credit facility.
The announcement gives Malawians a sigh of relief although it is unlikely that the draft bill would be given back to stakeholders to scrutinise it before it goes to parliament amid fears the government would doctor it.
Gondwe still remains upbeat that Malawi would qualify for the extended credit facility (ECF) which is expected to woo back traditional donors who packed their bags two years ago in protest against cashgate, the infamous plunder of government money at Capital Hill.
However, economists remain sceptical that Malawi would qualify for the ECF, saying domestic debt remains high, inflation is still unmanageable among other key factors.
Renowned economist cum journalist Ephraim Munthali told Zodiak recently it was unlikely all donors would be coming back even after Malawi qualifies for the ECF.
But Gondwe is upbeat, saying most of the conditions set have almost been fulfilled.
“We are about to complete some of the conditions,” said Gondwe.
He also said government stopped domestic borrowing “for the past three months.”