ATI Act to be operational soon


By Emmanuel Chirwa:

Ministry of Information, Science and Technology says Access to Information Act (ATA) will soon be operational as all preparatory activities are almost done.

Minister of Information, Science and Technology Henry Mussa said this during the orientation workshop of traditional leaders Thursday at Victoria Hotel in Blantyre.


The minister said government had to ensure that all stakeholders are sensitised to the tenets regards to the law.

“Information is power. The Access to Information Act will empower citizens to be aware of what is happening and issues affecting their welfare. Chiefs too are information recipients and holders. With this orientation exercise, they will be able to seek information easily on matters of development and at the same time disseminate it to their subjects.

“Some quarters complained of the delay in implementing the law into practice but let me tell you that, before we make the law operational, we have to ensure all stakeholders are well informed and understand what this law is talking about,” he said.


Ombudsperson Martha Chizuma, who is also Malawi Human Rights Commissioner, corroborated Mussa saying all preparations have been finalised and it is up to the minister to announce the date when the law will become operational.

“Today, we were finalising the chiefs’ orientation exercise and this marks the end of the things we had to do as Malawi Human Rights Commission. We have ticked all boxes and it’s now with the Minister of Information to set the implementation date of the law,” she said.

Paramount Chief Lundu said ATA will give them power to ensure developmental activities in their areas are done with transparency and accountability.

“In our local councils, there are lots of issues that are done and some we are not even aware of them. With the coming of this meeting and the implementation of the Access to Information Act, we are now empowered to access all the information of things that are happening on the ground,” he said.

ATA was passed in 2016 and signed by President Peter Mutharika in 2017.

The law ensures that information is easily accessible by all.

The meeting was the third. Similar meetings happened in Mzuzu and Lilongwe.

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