Mutharika trashes ultimatums, donor pressure on Information bill: Spells out inconsistencies

President Peter Mutharika has for the first time spelt out inconsistencies in the Access to Information bill draft, saying the draft bill wants to cover issues iretospectively – which happened before it becomes into effect – saying that is inconsistent with Commonwealth law.

President Peter Mutharika with foreign minister George Chaponda at the news conference

President Peter Mutharika with foreign minister George Chaponda at the news conference

Mutharika also faulted the draft bill for its clause which says ‘no future parliament should repeal the Access to Information law,’ saying parliament is sovereign and has powers to repeal any law.

The President was speaking at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe at a news conference.

“We are passing the bill not to please anybody, it is for our interest, we will pass the bill at one point,” said Mutharika indirectly attacking donors, the European Union for giving the government an ultimatum of December 31 to pass the bill or risk losing K80m in aid.

In angry tone, Mutharika said why are people pressuring his administration when Joyce Banda and Ralph Kasambara never had such pressure to pass the bill when they were in office.

Kasambara was minister of Justice in Joyce Banda administration.

“I have not taken any penny from the government and never will,” said Mutharika, suggesting people are pressurising him to pass the bill to investigate him on public financial plunder.

The government is struggling to explain how K577 billion of public money was used during the former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and People’s Party administration as raised in an audit querry.

Mutharika, though not committal as to exactly when the bill will be brought to parliament, said the cabinet has an obligation to ensure that all bills are consistent with prevailing laws after which it will be sent back to the ministry of Justice for redrafting before sending it to parliament.

He hoped it will pass as law in this session of parliament which runs up to July next year.

Mutharika said he would not work under pressure just because civil society groups were issuing ultimatums to him.

“I don’t take deadlines, anybody putting deadlines on me is wasting time,” he said.

Mutharika came severe fire from civil society organisations, the media and the opposition for government failure to pass the Access to Information bill after numerous promises, contradictions and inconsistencies from the Information minister Jappie Mhango and other government officials.

“My Government has never been against the passing of the bill, but there are some inconsistencies in the Bill that need amendment, and once they are corrected it will be sent to cabinet where after being satisfied with the corrections will be drafted and sent to parliament,” said Mutharika.

President Mutharika said he is aware that some donors are attaching the ATI bill as a condition to the resuming of aid in the country.

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47 thoughts on “Mutharika trashes ultimatums, donor pressure on Information bill: Spells out inconsistencies”

  1. Fav4 says:

    Mutharika does not want want people to have access to information from 31years of MCP to 2015.
    He cited ,he doesnt want that to be known to us. With the current situation, we need to know if mcp , Udf. pp and Dpp were stealing. Let the thieves be arraested , maybe people will have respect for public fund.
    Pls MPs do not pass the bill if we cannot have access to information from previous goverments. We can buy a jet from selling the properties builk by public money

  2. Benjones says:

    577 billion first pls.

  3. Kanyimbi says:

    Any employee work on deadlines otherwise…………………………………………………

  4. Lottie says:

    How long does it take to make corrections to the bill?

  5. Kenkkk says:

    I am just flabbergasted. On commonwealth laws, I think he meant common laws otherwise it looks very bad on him.

    The ATI law rather that it can’t be repealed, it can be amended by parliament without throwing it outright. Is this the only thing that is frightening you apm? A good citizen shouldn’t be afraid of any of it.

  6. jason chimwala says:

    Ati not wanted. Apm was mentioned za ma millions stoled by bingu zija. Don’t blame JB she did her part. Removed many bad laws. Why always blame JB.is that why. Your government fears kasambala

  7. The Patriot says:

    Mr President, for the sake of Malawians do the needful, pass the ATI bill! Its you and your cabinet that is holding Malawians at ransom. The blood of suffering Malawians is in your hands. If you cannot work with deadlines then you are not fit to be President! In 2019 we will remind you of your arrogance and boot you out of Sanjika. Malawians need a President who will work to meet deadlines and ease our suffering!!!

  8. Truck says:

    A ROBERT MUGABE AMAPANGA MAKANI NGATI AMENEWA NDI MA DONORS PANO TAONANI MMENE ZIMBABWE INATHELA MUTENGERO PHUNZIRO

  9. becks says:

    I feel ashamed to have this president . May God bless

  10. Bandawe says:

    I am just too sorry that my president has failed to remember that these same clap of ministers cheated his brother to become the most unpopular president of Malawi after he had done a tremendous job for Malawi.

    Mr President you can get these fools away from you and live a true life

  11. mkwita says:

    TAMVA

  12. manjolow says:

    Kodi mwati who is the President here? One looks more presidential, confident, energetic and optimistic than the other hiding behind huge globe like glasses. Tiyeni tisankhe bwino a Malawi. This other guy is smart – and can do us good and not the other zangotigwerapo

  13. Nyasa Times reader says:

    We are unable to access comments made by Nyasa Times readers on articles posted on your online publication.Please sort out this mess quickly.

  14. Mpumulo wa Bata wayandikila says:

    Mathanyula, you are the President now, deal with it! Stop using Joyce Banda as an excuse for everything. I did not realize just how much power Joyce Banda has over you. It just seems you can’t move this nation forward because of Joyce Banda who is not even in the country. Nanga akadzabwela ndiye you will pee on yourself.

  15. guguh says:

    This inconsistency has been identified yet the one in the marriage and chani chani bill the inconsistency was overlooked…. I would speculate that we surely do have problems in the government legal department if we choose which bills to pay extra legal attention to.

  16. Hardtalk says:

    On BBC Hardtalk this so called Professor Arthur Peter Mutarika was exposed as a fool. He could not adequately answer the questions and repeatedly contradicted himself. One minute he is complaining about donors withholding aid and the next he is boasting of investors lining up to invest in Malawi and how within a year Malawi will be transformed from an importing country to an exporting country. Export what? Answer: Mutharika’s empty head!
    When asked about the money Bingu stole, he answered by saying corruption was there before even Bingu. Fact is he was asked about Bingu stealing not anyone else. Shameless Professor!
    Thief and Thief Mutharika have set back Malawi by 15 years, and all the gains under Kamuzu, and Muluzi have been lost.
    Waiting until next elections for this fumbling incoherent and idiotic Peter Mutharika to go to the dustbin of history will leave Malawi broken, poor and destitute.
    Can we afford that? Can Malawi afford that?

  17. The real Ujeni says:

    Why is he rushing to conclusions? Nobody is talking about him taking any penny but we are talking of information bill. The guilty are afraid don’t rush to conclusions and be defensive in a different issue.

  18. Boyi says:

    Weekly Jihad Report
    Dec 05 – Dec 11
    Jihad Attacks:

    29
    Allah Akbars (Suicide Attacks):

    10
    Dead Bodies:

    295
    Critically Injured:

    333

  19. yakumbuyo says:

    THEY are very very stupid why not pass it .It is not tribal bill or family.Tifuna tiwaziwe,

  20. James Phiri says:

    You haven’t taken any penny from government. Remember when you were an MP and admitted to parliament that you purchased a house from Lilongwe City Council for K3 million in Area 10. You can’t buy land in Area 10 for K3 million – paying les than the market rate is corruption pure and simple.

  21. Happy Eduardo says:

    Osatukwana President a Choka Phiri. Mukufunika kulandira Yesu mwamuna wamtanda kuti achiritse mkwiyo wanu omwe muli nawo kwa President wa dziko. You really need Jesus to heal you.

  22. Ndangodutsamo says:

    Guys, to say the least, these reporters are the ones setting this country on fire, trying to put a wedge between government and the donors. I for one don’t see how the president has trashed or attacked the donors. He is just saying that the bill has inconsistencies. For instance, Malawi has never before passed a bill which says no future parliament can repeal the bill. Mwangonva kuti Malawi ndi moto and you want to set fire on just about everything. Remember untamed fire destroys.

  23. Sapitwa says:

    Do you know that this bill is not only meant for politicians as you may think? This bill gives powers to journalists to dig anyone’s private life and expose it on the public domain. By the time you try to defend yourself, your character has become defamated. Now we have millions of Malawians who by night become monsters and by day, they look saints. If this bill does not have some restrictions to private lives, nonse muzakhala maliseche tsiku lina liri lonse bola akangokudani!

  24. thinktankmalawi says:

    Oh so you want him to be puppet to donors….your female prez was submissive to the west…what did we gain as a nation.At 51 years old .you want malawi to be a “yes bwana” nation.we are a sovereign nation..yes we cant have poorly crafted bill as law of the land..just for expediency…bravo APM

  25. william says:

    Econony has collapsed
    Magetsi has collpased
    Kwacha has collapsed
    ATI bill collapsed
    Inflation out of control
    FISP Fertiliser subsidy in mess
    Mankhwala mu chipatala alibe
    Donors yathawa

  26. Truck says:

    U PROFESSOR NDIKULAMULIRA DZIKO NDIZOSIYANA ENATU KUNJAKU AMANGOGULA U DOCTOR NDI U PROFESSOR NDIYE PANO MWAONEKERA POYERA KIKI!

  27. choka phiri says:

    This man is stupid. He goes to Europe begging Them for money or aid The comes home boating. Thank donors for not giving money to This mans government. He is trying to hide 2009 Cash gate. If he was not afraid The first thing he could have done when he was elected was to sort outcome Cash Gate. The truth is nothing is sorted out in Malawi during DDP and will nerver be sorted. He is taking time to win. Malawians suffering. He does not care. Abale 2019 try another person. Chakwela. He is The man Who could have solved The Cash Gate. Why he was not in UDF DDP an PP. Mungopasa Chao akuba. And same famly WHY?

  28. bambo says:

    Mutharika does not take ultimatums from anyone including DONORS, PERIOD!

    Why did he go with a begging bowl to the donors in UK then? inconsistencies. If I give you my money, I will give you conditions including deadlines, period!

  29. The Analyst says:

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    What are you afraid of if the bill covers issues retrospectively? Does this not vindicate the many people’s view that you are afraid of something? Coz if the sheet is clean you wouldn’t be afraid to take it out.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    . . . And finding it a problem coz it contravenes with Commonwealth law is a such a non sequitur of an alibi. So coz you are a Professor of Law, you think you can cheat us that all laws in the Commonwealth are consistent in nature and application? How about the gay laws? Can you see now that such an excuse is quite inane hence not as sophisticated as you hoped it would sound?
    . . . And at what point did you realise there are such inconsistencies that need further attention? Coz you yourself echoed your ministers’ sentiments that the Bill would be tabled in the last sitting of Parliament. Or did the inconsistencies just come about soon after making this declaration? Can you see now that its easy to deduce that you are lying?
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
    . . . Would you hold others envious who tell you are a people who cannot be trusted? Why gamble with peoples’ lives by being arrogant with donor aid when the hospitals are crippled? Why are you protecting others if you say you didn’t benefit from the K577 bn free-for-all jamboree? Are these others not yourself? Its easy to see!
    . . . People declared you a leader, only to be betrayed before their very eyes? Revisit you mind and rediscover yourself Mr, coz you seem completely lost beyond redemption!
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  30. Njolinjo says:

    Our clueless president !!!!!!!!, Magufuli, tell this man what it means to be a president.

  31. Romento says:

    What does this guy smoke? The two inconsistencies he has raised cannot justify this undue delay – and it is doubtful that they are in the draft in the first place. To make a law difficult to change you put a condition of two thirds or three quarters majority – you cannot say a future parliament cannot change a law – even the constitution. This is unheard of.

    APM can choose to be angry if he wants. But the Malawi Kwacha is in free fall. What may halt its fall are increased foreign reserves. So whether he follows deadlines or not is a moot point. He needs to grow up, swallow his pride and pass the ATI bill.

    Like his brother before him, he thinks he can use the high office of President of Malawi to show just how arrogant he can be. In the end he will just invite unnecessary stress upon himself…

  32. Moyenda says:

    how long does it to edit a document, one day? one week? one month? 6 months? one year?

  33. Change says:

    Point of correction. It is Peter Mutharika and his Vice President Gorge Chaponda. Saulos is now in the cold and will soon die of hypothermia.

  34. Kandapako says:

    The President is fearful of K577 billion being exposed if he accents to the ATI Bill without his so called inconsistencies. He is a major beneficiary of the loot by himself and by inheritance from his late brother. Zidzaululikabe baba, Malawians are not as daft as you think.

  35. sam says:

    Malawis economy has collapsed Government hospitals, mankhwala alibe, the prescirbed me the medicines ati tika tenga ku ma pharmacies, wa kweza mtengo za mankhwala chifukwa devaluation. ati kwacha ya agwa from 440 mpakana 665. Kodi a Chuka bwanji aku ngwira chito kapena ali mphe, choncho tifuna akweza ma salaries za civil servants

  36. Mr Coment says:

    Ukamfumbe mukulu wako nkhwesa izo….aaa wali kuchimina peeee mamphina

  37. Prophet Bashiri says:

    Koma kukamwa kwa bwanawa how? Alibe Mano kapena lilime linanyenyeka?

  38. haward says:

    Mwano kwambiri

  39. Khanyuwanu says:

    hahahaha! chaphoda eti chikulukulu.

  40. Uchindami says:

    Pali zina zomwe zidachitika mmbuyo zomwe tikufuna kuti zikhale zobisika mpakana kalekale! Ndikuona choncho ine!

  41. garnet chirwa says:

    Now we kno why bwampini has issues against ralph kasambara. Where is the relevance of mentioning a minister of justice.
    That’s why the dpp government and it’s lhomwe judge has kasambara locked up for flimsy reasons

  42. Mwanga1 says:

    Munthu uyu ndi kape.Bwanji osayankha zimenezi pa Hardtalk

  43. Gulugufe says:

    choka apa old he-goat! Ntchito kumeta punky as old as you are 80 years!

  44. BigMan says:

    This reporter is a clown. I watched the press conference and it didnt have the innuendos being cooked here by Nyasatimes.

  45. Nazizwa says:

    If you are not ready for pressure Mr. President then why global trotting asking for aid? Then forgate about aid and crack you’re heard to find money to run u’re government.

    The truth is that the President is never affected by the economic hardship Malawians are going through.

    He never pays tax, gets everything for free yet he told the nation he is a Millionaire!

    That’s my President!!!!!!!

  46. CHONGU says:

    Mthalika should come open to pass the bill which money did you plunder. Don’t fear let it pass.

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