ATI implementation awaits nod from ministry of justice

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Written by Timothy Kateta

 

The Information Ministry is revealing that it is waiting for the Justice Ministry to make final touches on the Access To Information (ATI) law before its implementation.

This is according to the government Spokesperson Mark Botomani.

Questions have been raised by members of the public and the media on why the law is not being enforced almost three years after it was passed and assented to by the president. 

The law would among others make it mandatory for all public office holders to make available any vital information to the public and other stakeholders including the media.

Botoman tells Capital FM that the government is equally interested to have the law applied.

“All of the procedures have been set up and e are expecting that our counterparts at the ministry of justice to come in with regulations,” said Botomani.

But when asked on when the law would be rolled out Botomani pointed out that such procedures take time and those working on it should not be pressurised into working with a deadline setup.

 “The government is committed to ensuring that the law comes into force and our collegues chould be given time so that they can work on it,” he added.

He however was quick to point out that the presidential election results case which is being heard at the Constitutional Court in Lilongwe will also contribute to the delay in implementing the ATI law.

The ATI bill was passed by parliament in December 2016 and President Peter Mutharika assented to it to become a law in February 2017.

The enactment of the law marked the end of a long process of consultations and negotiations that characterised the initial phase of concept and drafting stages.

The ATI law presents an opportunity for Malawians to exercise their right to access information. Although this right is already in the Constitution, it has been impossible for the people to exercise it because of a lack of the necessary framework and procedures for doing so.

 

 

 

 

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