Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi has set another deadline to operationalise the long-awaited access to information (ATI) law before end of this year, a promise which comes over two years since since President Peter Mutharika assented to it.
Opening another workshop, one in a series of workshops for the operationalization of the law, Dausi said the law would be in operation before or in December, 2018.
This is not the first time that the government has shifted deadlines for the operationisation of the law amid concerns from the giant media body, the National Institute for Media in Southern Africa (Namisa) that the government was simply buying time and playing with people’s minds in order to delay its implementation for political reasons ahead of the 2019 elections.
Dausi warned the controlling officers who were participants at the workshop, including government directors that the law would take its course if they abused their position to give out information not provded for in the ATI law.
“I urge you to exercise prudence in the way you give out the information,” said Dausi.
He said the controlling officers should give to the public information which was only correct, saying the public needed to get the best out of the law.
The state funded Malawi Human Rights Commission is mandated to execute the law to the fullest.
MHRC executive director David Nungu said there have been delays in the implementation of the law because of lack of funding and inadequate training for the staff.