Government Says Not Responsible for ATI Implementation Delay
Government has rejected blame it is dragging feet in implementing the access to information bill which effectively grants the media and other players enhanced freedom to access information.
Government spokesperson, Mark Botomani, said this in Lilongwe this morning on the sidelines of 3-dy MISA regional conference which is discussing among others, fake news and media freedom.
However, lawyer for MISA Malawi, Mandala Mambulasa, bemoaned the delay, wondering why government is taking so long, three years after parliament passed the bill.
In 2016, parliament passed the access to information bill that would allow Malawians to access information with ease, but government is yet to implement it.
While admitting the delay, Botomani says there are some things that need to be done before implementation, against allegations that government is deliberately delaying.
But lawyer for MISA Malawi Mandala Mambulasa expressed worry over the delay, saying this is continuously straining the role and freedom of the media.
Said Mambulasa, “We are surprised that three years down the line, the law has not taken effect, and we appeal to government to expedite the implementation of the law.”
British High Commissioner Holly Tett says her government is committed is committed to ensuring media freedom globally.
“We are very committed and that is why last year we started a big media campaign on issues to do with media freedom. Of course there’s more that needs to be done, as media is the core institution when it comes to democracy,” Tett said.