President Peter Mutharika petitioned on ATI


Media Owners and Managers in Malawi through Media Institute of Southern Africa – Malawi Chapter (Misa- Malawi) and Media Council of Malawi (MCM) have petitioned President Peter Mutharika to fulfill his promise and constitutional requirement by tabling the Access To Information (ATI) bill in the current meeting of Parliament.

During a meeting the concerned stakeholders had on November 6 this year, they noted with concern the progress towards the tabling of the ATI bill.

When Cabinet met on Tuesday, November, 17, 2015, they referred the bill back to the Cabinet Committee on Legal Affairs on grounds that it has “inconsistencies”. The “inconsistencies” have, however, not been disclosed to the public.


“Government has introduced substantive changes, without wide and effective consultations with the citizenry and concerned stakeholders and interest groups, to the proposed governance structure and obligations of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to disclose information,” the petition reads

Commenting on the same chairperson for MCM, Wiseman Chijere Chirwa wondered why government says the bill has inconsistencies whilst they have been battling for its tabling for over ten years.

He said in the wake of confusing, contradictory and inaccurate messages through the public statements by the President, Minister of Information and Leader of Government Business, about government’s readiness to table the bill, there is preview of lack of information within the process itself.


The petition meanwhile seeks to inquire “inconsistencies” as identified by cabinet for the public and other stakeholders to get a better understanding of the problems.

“A meeting between the Legal Affairs Committee of Cabinet and the Task Force that drafted the ATI Bill be urgently convened to address the mentioned “inconsistencies,” reads the petition.

The petition has been signed by Misa chairperson Thomson Khanje, MCM chairperson Chijere Chirwa, Nation Publications Limited Chief Executive Officer Mbumba Banda, Zodiak Managing Director Gospel Kazako, Times Group Managing Director Leonnard Chikadya, Capital FM Limited Station Manager Arlene Osman, Joy Media Managing Director Esmie Malisita and Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) Executive Director Dalitso Nkunika.

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