Malawi has finally lost out an K80 billion European Union aid package after the government failed to pass the Access to Information Bill (ATI) whose deadline is expiring midnight on December 31, 2015.
Minister of Information Jappie Mhango echoed President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday that government will not be pushed to pass the bill.
“The government will not be pushed into taking this bill to parliament. The government wants a good law and will pass this bill into law at an appropriate time,” stated the Minister.
“ Don’t push us too much, give us space to do a thorough job, we are doing our best,” said Mhango.
A few weeks ago, Mutharika said he would not work under pressure because of ultimatums.
The powerful media owners, including Zodiak managing director Gospel Kazako, Times Group managing director Leonard Chikadya, Nation Publications Limited chief executive officer Mbumba Banda and Capital Radio owner Al Osman gave Mutharika an ultimatum on the bill.
Kazako said on Wednesday the media would not relent in pushing for the bill passed into law.
“We are not impressed with the way the government has handled this but we will continue to campaign, lobbying and requesting the government to take the bill to parliament,” he said.
National Media Institute for Southern Africa (Namisa) president Thom Khanje urged Malawians to rise up and demand the law, saying Malawians have a right to make this demand because it’s them who voted this government into power.
“If we let this government [scot free] , they will not bring the bill to parliament,” said Khanje in an interview with Zodiak on Wednesday.
Donors have also said they will not release withheld aid if the bill is not passed into law, among other key factors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :