Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Friday delivered Parliamentary State of Nation address titled ‘Building Resilience for Sustainable Development,’ in which he assured that the Access to Information Bill will be tabled by government.
Media groups in the country expressed grave concern over what they called the government’s contradictory positions on the Access to Information Bill which is yet to be tabled in parliament.
The Lilongwe-based Bwaila Media Club Secretary General, Augustine Mulomole on Thursday described the bill as essential to democracy as it empowers citizens to demand information from public officials and duty bearers.
Mutharika said the sitting of Parliament will play a very critical role recreating policy framework and urged Parliament to be serious and pass important bills that Malawians are waiting for.
During the address, Mutharika assured Malawians on the tabling of much awaited Access to information bill.
Some of the bills to be tabled, accoridng to President Mutharika, include the long awaited Access to Information Bill; Communications Bill; the Credit Reference Bureaux Bill; the Land Bill; the Customary Land Bill; and the Payment Systems Bill.
“I am certain that it is in our interest to support and pass these bills because Malawi, our country needs them,” said Mutharika
“Yes, Yes, Government will table the Access to Information bill,” said Mutharika.
Minister of Information Jappie Mhango said the processing of the bill is at a very advanced stage and will be tabled in parliament soon.
“The passing of this bill was part of the promises and priority of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which was given the mandate to govern and therefore the media and the public should be assured” he said.
The bill is meant to provide right of access to information, establish an independent Public Information Commission as well as promote transparency and accountability in public office.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :