Malawi govt information holders brain storm over ATI law

Senior government officials, who are public information holders are meeting in Lilongwe brain storm on Access to Information law which the government is yet to operationalise.

Justin Dzonzi, MHRC chairperson : Time to trigger the operationalisation of the ATI law

President Peter Mutharika signed into law on February 16, 2016 but the government is yet to make the law operational.

The chairperson of the Malawi Human Rights Commission Justin Dzonzi said the meeting was the first step in the operationalisation of the law.

“There have been delays in the operationalisation of the law but this meeting is the first step to trigger the operationalisation of the law,” he said.

He said the meeting is screening which information to give out.

Dzonzi said there would be an appeals committee to which people could go after they are denied information. MHRC is responsible for the operationalisation of the law.

Theresa Ndanga, the chairperson of Media Institute of Southern Africa which spearheaded the passing of the ATI welcomed the meeting but asked the governmentto expadiate the operationalisation of the law, saying two years is too long to operationalise the law.

A representative of the UN who have sponsored the meeting also expressed worry over the delays to implement the law.

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