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Peter Mutharika yet to assent to ATI Bill

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President Peter Mutharika is yet to assent to Access to Information Bill which Parliament passed in December last year.

Parliament passed a total of 13 bills in the last meeting and according to communication which Speaker of the House, Richard Msowoya, made at the beginning of the meeting of Parliament yesterday, only ATI Bill has not been assented to.

After the announcement, Leader of People’s Party (PP) in the House, Uladi Mussa, wondered why only ATI Bill has not been assented to.

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“This bill was passed alongside others. Why is it not signed?” Mussa asked.

But Speaker Richard Msowoya said the MPs should not be worried.

“There were several amendments made to the bill. That’s why the bill has delayed. But honourable members should not be worried. The bill has not passed the 21-day period that is given after it is presented to him,” Msowoya said.

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Among the bills which Msowoya announced that Mutharika had assented to are all six land-related that were passed in the meeting. These include Forestry (Amendment), Local Government (Amendment), Public Roads (Amendment), Land Acquisition (Amendment), Malawi Housing Corporation (Amendment) and Registered Land (Amendment). Also assented to are loan authorisation bills.

Parliament started at an explosive note with the issue of an injunction barring Minister of Agriculture, George Chaponda, from executing his ministerial duties taking centre stage.

The MPs, however, spent a good part of the day responding to a statement Minister of Education Emmanuel Fabiano tabled in the House.

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