Govt delay to implement Access to Information Law annoys Misa-Malawi

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Malawi Chapter  is not pleased with the government delays to implement Access to Information law, two years after it was passed.

Misa chairperson Tereza Ndanga: We are worried

The law was passed in parliament in 2016 but president Peter Mutharika assented to it in 2017.

Misa-Malawi chairperson Theresa Ndanga said it was unlikely the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government would implement the law before the highly contentious tripartite elections which are just three months away.

“We are very worried as Misa Malawi. We have engaged Malawi Human Rights Commission and the ministry of Information on the matter but we seem not to be getting the right responses,” said Ndanga.

She said the law would have been beneficial to Malawians in the run up to the May 21 tripartite elections.

Ndanga then accused the Peter Mutharika administration of campaigning in 2014 on the Access to Information (ATI) law but changed tune when voted into power.

“The DPP vigorously campaigned on ATI, it is even in their manifesto but now they cannot implement it. The implementation is just a matter of the minister of Information just setting a date when ATI must be implemented,” said Ndanga.

She said the DPP was now taking Malawians to ransom.

In earlier interviews, the ministry of Information said there were delays to implement the ATI because the government was training information officers who would be responsible for giving out the information to the public.

However, some analysts say the government was forced to pass ATI into law because of pressure from the country’s donors, especially the CABS.

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