In rare show of commitment, United Democratic Front (UDF) President Atupele Muluzi, says once vote into power, his government will speedily present the Access to Information Bill to Parliament and sign the Table Mountain Agreement on Media Freedom promptly.
Atupele made the commitment at a news conference in Blantyre where he also outlined what they will do in their first 100 days in office after the May 20 tripartite elections.
According to him, the Information Bill and the Table Mountain Agreement will enhance transparency information on resource flows to citizens on budgetary transfers to key service delivery units, outline obligations and commitments of government and what citizens should expect and actual performance of front-line service delivery units.
”As the President of the Republic of Malawi after 20th May 2014, within the first 100 days of our administration, I and my team pledge to nurture a free and effective media to transmit messages and information to and from ordinary Malawians with government and to hold government account.
“This includes providing a regulatory environment for media that is free of political control,” said Atupele.
He further promised the UDF administration will encourage demand for information by the civil servants across government, along with empowering the National Statistical Office to generate better statistics that are available to all strata of society and encourage linkages with the private sector in this realm.
“The UDF government will also strengthen mass media development-ability to ask the right questions. Improve credibility of media (independence from private and political interests),” he added.
Incumbent President Joyce Banda declined to sign the Table Mountain Agreement on Media Freedom when the Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa-Malawi Chapter) presented it to her last year.
Atupele on Tuesday also conducted whistle stop campaign rallies in Zomba and Machinga.
He told crowds that his party has done a lot on the ground and was ready to govern and transform Malawi.