President Peter Mutharika has not put his pen to paper to sign the Access to Information (ATI) Bill into law, 30 days after it was passed as State House says it has not yet reached his table.
Presidential spokesman Mgeme Kalilani told Nyasa Times that the ATI Bill has not been submitted by Parliament for President Mutharika’s nod.
“The bills that came from Parliament including money bills have been assented by the President. But the ATI Bill has not been submitted,” Kalilani said.
Parliament’s spokesperson Leonard Mengezi said they delayed sending ATI Bill to President Mutharika because it needs to be cleaned with lots of amendments.
“The ATI bill has enomours amendments to which several stakeholders had to give input before the final one could be submitted to the President,” said Mengezi.
“Parliament has not yet received the cleaned copies from Ministry of Justice,” he added.
“The process is rigorous. Things will be done accordingly. We can’t be rushing.”
He said the ATI Bill was yet to be dispatched to the Head of State.
The ATI Bill, expected to become law after President Mutharika assents to it and gets gazetted, is expected to empower Malawians to hold government and duty-bearers accountable on governance issues, according to Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament chairperson Maxwell Thyolera.
He passed Bill is almost similar to the original one that had been butchered and was presented in Parliament in July 2016.
If Mutharika rejects the ATI Bill, he will be required to formally write the Speaker of Parliament to explain his decision.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :