Government has failed to table Access to Information Bill just weeks after President Peter Mutharika assured media gurus and Malawians the bill will be passed into law in March.
The government has not given any reason for the failure to table the bill in parliament except that the minister who was supposed to table the bill, Information Minister Jappie Mhango was sick.
The failure to table the bill comes at a time when National Media Institute for Southern Africa (Namisa) lobbied opposition members of parliament to reject the bill because of some clauses in the bill Namisa says is undemocratic, dictatorial and uncalled for.
Namisa president Thom Khanje said recently his organisation is now engaged in intense civic education on the need for Malawians to have the “undoctored” Aceess to Information bill.
Mhango could not be reached to say whether the bill will be introduced in parliament in November when the House meets.
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) made the ATI as one of its campaign promises in the run up to the 2014.
Meanwhile, the Leader of the House Francis Kasaila has described second meeting of the 46th session of Parliament in Lilongwe as a success.
The meeting was largely convened to discuss the mid-year review of 2015/2016 budget which started on Monday 22nd February and ended on Friday 18th March 2016.
“Mr. Speaker Sir, at the outset let me indicate that the meeting has generally been a success, let me therefore take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the leadership of this House and indeed to all Honourable Members of Parliament for their hard work and dedication they demonstrated during the deliberation of business that came before this House, the views that came from both sides of the House were done in a constructive manner which enabled the House to transact business as planned,” said Kasaila.
In his appraisal of the session, Kasaila said the House passed the 2015/2016 mid-year revised budget with a total of K902, 300, 511,168.00 billion.
The House passed 2 bills namely; Bill number 2 of 2015 Metrology, and Bill number 13 of 2016 Appropriation amendment.
He said Bill number 24 of 2015 Communications is at debate stage while Bill number 2 of 2016 Land Bill, Bill number 3of 2016 Physical Planning, Bill number 6 of 2016 Land Survey and Bill number 9 of 2016 Customary Land have been referred to Legal Affairs, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Women’s Caucus.
Due to limited time the House was not able to discuss and did not conclude discussions on 9 Bills but assured the members that those Bills will be discussed during the coming budget session of Parliament scheduled for May/June 2016.
He said during the meeting a total of 39 out of 132questions which were submitted to various Ministries were responded to by the responsible Ministers and added that 3 questions from Khumbo Kachali Mzimba South-West, Kamlepo Kalua Rumphi East and Makowa Mwale Nkhotakota South-East on Notice to the President were suspended.
On public petitions Kasaila said the House received 2 petitions; from the concerned Civil Society Organisations which were presented in the House by Dedza East Parliamentarian Juliana Lunguzi and a petition from public University Students Union presented in the House by Dowa-Ngala Parliamentarian which were referred to other committees for further consideration.
The Leader of the House also expressed his sincere condolences to the family of late Kanjira Banda’s family for the loss of Honourable Kanjira Banda. He however denounced the use of hate speeches against other members of the House. The House has since adjourned sine die.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :