The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has solidified its stance as a leader among public institutions in information dissemination by becoming the first organization to appoint an information officer in line with the Access to Information Act (ATI).
In a statement released on Wednesday, 14 October, 2020 the electoral body announced that it has appointed Mr Wellington Katantha as its Information Officer.
The statement signed by the Chief Elections Officer, says Mr Katantha has worked with the Commission for 18 years and currently serves as Deputy Director of Electoral Services.
The announcement by MEC comes fast on the heels of a raging debate amongst stakeholders with some arguing that separating the duty of an Information Officer from a Public Relations Officer would result in more expenses.
In an interview, MEC Director of Media and Public Relations, Sangwani Mwafulirwa explained that the Information Officer will be receiving and responding to all requests for information made in accordance with ATI Act.
“Under the new law organisations are required to appoint or designated an Information Officer and the Commission had to move fast to comply since the law is operational.
“the Commission is keen to be compliant not only to electoral laws but any legislation that pertains to its work,” he said.
The Electoral Commission was also recognized by the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter as the most Most Open Public Service Institution in Malawi and was awarded the Golden Key Award a week ago.
The award was given as part of the commemoration of the Right to Information Day which falls on 28thSeptember every year.