President Peter Mutharika has not assented to the Access to Information (ATI) Bill into law, Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya announced to the House on Monday, promptiong acting leader of opposition Peoples Party (PP) Uladi Mussa demanding an explaination from government.
The Speaker in his announcement said the Head of State has approved 12 of the 13 bills MPs passed during the previous sitting in December 2016 and that they were waiting for the President to sign the ATI Bill.
But Mussa queried why President Mutharika, who threatened on numerous occasions that he would veto toan amended ATI Bill, has not assented to the bill.
“The bill was passed alongside others, why is it not signed,” Mussa said.
But Speaker Msowoya said ATI Bill needed to be cleaned following amendments introduced in the House before it was sent to the Head of State and that delayed the process
“There were several amendment to the bill thats why the bill delayed [to be submitted to State House],” said the Soeaker.
He assured legislators that they should not be worried, “the bill has not passed the 21-day period that is given after it is presented to the President.”
Mutharika has reportedly assented to four money bills which have since been gazetted while the majority of the bills, Bills, which have since been gazetted include African Development Fund (Agricultural Infrastructure and Youth in Agribusiness Project) Loan Authorisation Bill, Export and Import Bank of China (National Fibre Backbone Project) Loan Authorisation Bill, International Development Association (Second Additional Financing for Strengthening Safety Nets Systems Project-Fourth Malawi Social Action Fund (Masaf IV) Loan Authorisation Bill and International Development Association (Malawi Drought Recovery and Resilience Project) Loan Authorisation.