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Organisations on ATI implementation campaign

Three non-state actors have teamed up to lobby for the implementation of the Access to Information – ATI law in the country, five years after it was enacted in 2016.

Youth and Society (YAS), Development Communications Trust  (DCT) and OXFAM have embarked on the mission with funding from the European Union.

Yesterday Tuesday, the three organisations held an orientation meeting for southern region-based journalists under the Blantyre Press Club umbrella.

“All citizens in Malawi ought to have access to information. The media is coming to help in popularizing the access to information and to see where the gap is as well as how best we can lobby for the stakeholders to implement the ATI effectively,” said after the training Programmes Manager for DCT Bettie Chumbu.

Chumbu: Media is key in popularizing the law

On his part, Chance Kalolokesya who is the Deputy Director responsible for Civil and Political Rights at the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) which is charged with the ATI implementation processes said there is need for the implementation of the law.

“My appeal is that all public and private institutions should have information officers and make sure to make necessary measures to make sure that information is put out for the public to access it,” appealed the Deputy Director.

The organisations have also embarked on a drive to translate the ATI law into Chichewa and Tumbuka languages.

The European Union-funded project is aimed at making the law easily accessible among Malawians.

They have since started orienting the media on the same and recently engaged southern region-based journalists under the Blantyre Press Club (BPC) umbrella.

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BPC Secretary General Esther Nyanja has since described the initiative taken by the organisations as a good move, which will help minimize some of the challenges they meet.

“Bearing in mind the challenges that are there in accessing information from crucial public institutions, this is good,” Nyanja said.

Njanja has since pledged to support the organisations in in pushing for implementation of the ATI  law.

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