Analyst hopes Mutharika won’t reject ATI

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Peter Mutharika

Mutharika all eyes on him on the ATI Bill.

As the Access to Information (ATI) bill is now in the hands of President Peter Mutharika, a political commentator  says the president has no choice but to assent the passed bill into law.

On Wednesday there was a heated debate between the opposition legislators and the government side over the bill but it ended up being passed, raising fears that Mutharika may veto Parliament’s decision.

But on Thursday one of the political commentators in the country Humphreys Mvula told Malawi24 that at this point in time  Mutharika cannot thwart the bill.

“Mutharika doesn’t have that luxury or choice at this stage but simply to assent to the Access to Information bill,” said Mvula.

He added that if Mutharika does not assent to the bill the Malawi leader will send the message that he is hiding something.

”I don’t want to speculate that President Peter Mutharika would not assent to the ATI bill but if he doesn’t assent to it then he is going against Malawians and demonstrating he has a hidden skeleton around his regime,” he said.

Humpreys Mvula

Mvula: We hope the President will give the bill a nod.

When laws such as ATI are absent, Mvula said, most governments are not accountable to their citizens and it is easy to cheat citizens where the media and government bodies have no way of providing control of information.

He added that  it is easier to conceal corruption or hide wastage of resources because there is no law compelling duty to reveal information demanded by citizens.

On why Mutharika’s government was reluctant to table the bill even though it was in their manifesto, Mvula said manifestos are campaign documents aimed at winning votes.

“I don’t think Democratic Progressive Party has been keen to pass the bill and this has been portrayed by the actions of government,” said Mvula.

It has been reported that DPP tried to sabotage the passing of the bill but did not have the necessary numbers as some of their Members of Parliament were absent during the vote.

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10 Comments

  1. I already said about it that president can reject or accept bills if content of the bill does not effectively help the majority. 24 hours ago pipo were busy praising the opposition yet the bill was passed by both on ruling side & opposition. Malawians sometimes let’s learn to be cool and watch coz these politicians can quarrel today but tomorrow eat dinner together.