Finally! Malawi Parliament passes Access to Information Law

41

…Govt fails to block the Bill

Long at last. The Malawi Parliament last night passed the Access to Information (ATI) Bill which has been highly fought for years.

However, there were what looked like deliberate ways by the government side to block the bill from passing only for the opposition to rally behind it using the numerical advantage during the sitting which led up to 8:15 P.M.

Leader of the House George Chaponda had argued with the house that the Ministry of Information had wanted to look into a number of alterations to the bill before it got passed, the opposition maintained the argument did not hold any water because the bill had had been left at the committee stage.

Parliament

Parliament passes ATI Bill.

According to Chaponda, the bill should have come after the house deliberated on  the National Planning Commission Bill. The opposition however felt this was the means to stop the bill.

Opposition Peoples Party’s Raphael Mhone opposed Chaponda by saying the bill was not exception to be abandoned as it had already been in the committee stage and therefore had to go on.

The other opposition bloc maintained that there have been numerous consultations on the bill before and that the argument for more alterations o the bill was not making sense at all.

After a heightened debate, Minister of Information, Malison Ndau did the third reading and this meant the bill was passed.

Meanwhile, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) says this is a very welcome development to the nation and the media fraternity.

The the Access to Information Bill, seeks to accord access to public information in the custody of various private and public institutions.

The right of access to information is enshrined in the country’s 1995 Constitution, which states, “[s]ubject to any Act of Parliament, every person shall have the right of access to all information held by the State or any of its organs at any level of Government in so far as such information is required for the exercise of his rights.”

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41 Comments

  1. Congrats to DPP for allowing this ATI bill to go thru in parliament. A Malawi for a longtime did not have this bill. Ankadziwa kuti bill iyi a Malawi sitiwaponda. M’malo mwake kuwopsyeza, kumanga athu, even kuphedwa kumene.

  2. Viva democracy. At long last the ATI has finally gone thru. A Malawi timafinyidwa. Tithokoze Mulungu. No more SEMIGODS

  3. Government wanted to block it? who brought it in Parliament? opposition or government? Let’s wait and see how it will help to reduce poverty in our country.Democracy in poor nations

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  5. Some people did not want this bill to be passed, fearing exposure of their corrupt bahaviour, 577 billion kwacha…we need to know the names now!!!!!!!!

    • Thanks the DDP Government zowona zake ndizoti from Mcp to pp it is only the new Dpp and Apm mwalola kuti bill yimeneyi yi passe.viva ma blues viva Malawi

    • Vuto ndi Trust, You Can’t play around with peoples trust, its not easy to win peoples trust by merely talking it must be by action, i love MCP because its a mother party and I hold Kamuzu as father and founder highly but i don’t trust the party any more due to the morphosis it has gone through, its no longer what it used to be when i was very young riding a Malawi Young Pioneer car in the stadium saluting for Ngwazi on sixth July then.

    • Nanji masiku ano? Those born 1964 r now adultsThose born in 1994 nawonso ndiwakulu.I remember at he time of our Independence, we had very high hopes. But two months later things turned upsidedown.

    • I was born only knowing one President In Malawi who had friend Presidents in the likes of Mzee JOMO Kenyatta, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Kenneth Kaunda and many more whom you could just identify as real and genuine statesmen, they had no foul filthy language and what was coming out clearly from them was unity, purpose and development, now compare today, are you convinced with the types we are offered as presidential material ? doubtful, all we have on display are male and female comedians nothing worth following.

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