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ACCESS TO INFORMATION LAW PASSED – ‘THIS IS A HISTORIC MILESTONE’

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Malawi Congress Party has commended that yesterday’s passing of Access (right) to Information (ATI) Act will provide the guarantee of the right to information of all persons and has labbeled the move a big step in the fight against corruption.

Speaking to Afriem, member of parliament, Honourable Sam Kawale described the law passed as “original but only amended by parliament.” “Finally its passed, the process we went through these two days was a clear indication that MCP and the opposition wants to make Malawi a country benefiting to its citizen,” said hon Kawale who was at the middle of pushing to have the law passed.

According to the youthful hardworking MP, parliamentarians were not elected to make laws to shield individuals or a party but to serve Malawians hence MCP being a party that doesn’t look forward to shield individuals was in front pushing for the law.

“The ATI law is what Malawians wanted and now they can access information that will help them make informed decisions and develop the country.

“Keep in mind that the bill will not in any way interfere with the constitution, nor will it be in conflict with secrets act or other laws.

“The bill was not doctored. That is not true. Just like any other bill, it had to be amended and we did just that.

Speaking in parliament, with a motive to block the law, minister of information, Malison Ndau lied that MHRC said it was not interested to play the oversight role of the ATI and also falsely accused the opposition of doctoring the bill.

“We were told that the commission had other equally important responsibilities, so taking the oversight function of the ATI would be an impossible mission for MHRC,” he said.

WRITER’S REMARKS – ATI IS A ROAD TO DEMOCRACY, WILL HELP CITIZENS TO PARTICIPATE IN DECISION MAKING

Let me describe the passing of the bill passed as a “historic milestone.”

The law will also help government officers to keep records of government information and that will empower people to contribute to decisions making so they can actively participate and contribute effectively to the development of this nation.

Transparency is the only root to democracy so for those who thought Malawi is democratic enough, know that it has just started.

Enshrined in law, this will ensure that the reporters, media will be able to report more accurately and responsibly on government activities, and that the public will be better equipped to engage in democratic processes.

When Dr Chakwera advised government that there is a need for a robust ATI, whose benefits range from fighting corruption, making our country more democratic which are benefits to Malawians, Churches, Media fraternity, its just a shame that others including Reverend Ndau were trying to block it and all DPP law makers voted against it except 2.

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