Media Challenged to Lead in Popularizing ATI Law

Chumbu, take ATI as a developmental legislation Chumbu, take ATI as a developmental legislation - pic by Hastings Jimani

The media has been challenged to lead in popularizing Access to Information (ATI) law to rural masses as a developmental legislation.

Programmes Manager for Development Communications Trust, Bettie Chumbu, says the law is crucial in promoting transparency and accountability in implementation of public developments like District Development Fund (DDF) and Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects.

Chumbu was speaking on Tuesday in Blantyre during a media training on influencing effective implementation and enforcement of regulatory framework that guarantees right to information project.

She said ATI law is for the general public not the media only.

“Let people know that knowledge is power because if they do not have information on any development implemented in their districts or communities, they end up speculating that funds have been embezzled if quality of the project is substandard or handclapping someone for nothing,” said Chumbu.

Deputy Director of Civil and Political Rights at Malawi Human Rights Commission, Chancy Kalolokesya, called upon public and private entities to speed up recruitment processes of Information Officers who will be able to share information to the public easily.

“As MHRC, we are mandated to ensure that the ATI is implemented in both government departments and the private sector,” said Kalolokesya.

The project will be implemented by Development Communications Trust (DCT) in partnership with Oxfam and Youth and Society (YAS) with funding from European Union.

Impact districts are Chitipa, Rumphi, Likoma, Kasungu, Dowa, Balaka, Machinga, Phalombe, Nsanje and Zomba.

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