Misa-Malawi asks parliament to block ‘adulterated’ Information bill

Media body, Misa-Malawi officials have lobbied parliament to reject the Access to Information bill describing it as undemocratic and designed to serve a small group of the ruling elite.

Khanje: The ATI bill has been diluted

Khanje: The ATI bill has been diluted

The Misa-Malawi chairman Thom Khanje told MIJ radio Thursday the government “has heavily doctored and butchered the draft bill that it is now useless and cannot serve the interests of democratic Malawi.”

Khanje cited a clause in the draft bill which empowers the state to prosecute anyone who “abuses” information obtained from government offices and can be liable to a K2 million fine or serve jail term.

He said Malawi can only be the only place in the world where a person is convicted because of information, describing the scenario as retrogressive.

Khanje also said the government has put a clause in the draft ATI draft bill which says the Access to Information law would be subject to Official Secrecy Act, saying the Act is archaic and draconian fit in one party dictatorship and should have been removed from law books at the dawn of multiparty system of government.

“The bill has been drafted in a way it is not democratic and is aimed at serving a small group of the elite,” said Khanje indirectly referring to President Peter Mutharika, his cabinet and a few ruling party elite.

He said Namisa has since met officials from Media Committee and Legal Affairs Committee of parliament.

President Mutharika told representatives of the media recently that he would veto a bill that has been amended in parliament, an indication there will be a show down between opposition members of parliament and civil society on one hand and Mutharika and his government on the other over ATI which the ruling Democratic Progressive Party used as a campaign tool in the run up to the 2014 general election.

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Professor Wakumpoto
Guest
Professor Wakumpoto
6 months 14 days ago
Penapakenso journalists have to be responsible too. Some Journalists usually write stories without confirmation from the sources. And when the stories get published they just either say sorry or do not apologize at all when defamation and false information has been spread already. Some Journalists has destroyed reputations of many innocent people in this country. I better be neutral in this discussion because the law of natural justice demands I should imagine if the false story written is for me. I think there should be clauses to protect innocent citizens as well. Though I am not aware of what’s in… Read more »
Truth
Guest
Truth
6 months 15 days ago

I think Misa Malawi has been badly advised. My advice is that Misa Malawi should strongly lobby parliament to amend the bill rather than blocking it. If Parliament blocks the bill it is playing into Peter Mutharika’s hands who does not want this bill. Misa Malawi should submit the amendments to parliament. Section 73 of the Constitution is clear that Peter Mutharika cannot veto a bill twice if it is again passed by Parliament. Parliament has the numbers to pass the bill again if Peter Mutharika vetoes it the first time.

ajasii
Guest
ajasii
6 months 15 days ago

I think Mr khanje u r miss informing others. The first example that u hv sited it is of paramount important to be there in the bill because it is there to protect information from abuse and making the information users responsible to wth watever they do wth information. The second example u r making sensible argument.

Manuel
Guest
Manuel
6 months 15 days ago

On this one i would trust the law proffesor more than our usually half-baked and highly partisan journalists. The misfortune that befell Malawians is that national causes are championed by the very knowlege-deficient people “…masquarading as experts…” k kkk!

take Mbungo Dakwidakwi
Guest
take Mbungo Dakwidakwi
6 months 15 days ago

Mr. Khanje , go ahead , don’t bowdown to these dangerous murderers and thieves. they are taking Malawians for granted- fuck, that’s bullshit.

wsdom
Guest
wsdom
6 months 15 days ago
I have said time and time again that the DPP government has no desire to table this ATI bill because to them, it would be like shooting themselves in the foot. As you can see, after delaying for so long to bring it to parliament, now they will be arguing about the provisions they want changed. This will also take forever. It should now be very clear to all Malawians that this government does not have the welfare of country at heart. Whatever arguments they may put forward, a handful of people can not pretend to know better and hold… Read more »
Mulangeni
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Mulangeni
6 months 15 days ago

Thom wathuwathu iwe, suopa polakhula tiye nawo amenewa a dpp

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