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Public Affairs Committee hails media

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By Feston Malekezo:

Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has hailed the media in the country for what the quasi-religious organisation has described as exceptional work this year.

Pac publicity secretary, Peter Mulomole, who was reflecting on the ups and downs of the year 2018, said the media has managed to uncover earth-shaking stories on corruption, bad governance and abuse of power.

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Mulomole said some civil society organisations (CSOs) remained relevant in the year owing to the work by the media.

“There is so much that the media has unveiled that left Malawians shocked. This gave most CSOs, including Pac, work to act on. We, therefore, call upon the government and other stakeholders overseeing the Access to Information Act to quickly operationalise it. This will give the media a conducive environment to continue working well,” he said.

Mulomole said Pac is, however, still at pains that the electoral reforms were shot down regardless of their importance.

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“It is unfortunate that we will still use the First- Past-the-Post system during the forthcoming elections which disregards the margin with which a Head of State can win an election. There were some reform bills that could be so important in the operations of the upcoming elections but were all shot down,” he said.

The rejected bills were the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill, Electoral Commission (Amendment) Bill, Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections Bill, Elections Management Fund Bill, Assumption of Office of President (Transitional Arrangements) Bill and Referendum Bill.

While commending the government on living on some of its promises such as the construction of technical colleges, Mulomole said Pac is worried that corruption keeps worsening in various government sectors.

“The government is always talking about corruption but it is doing nothing about it. Corruption is everywhere; maybe that is why we seem to have no clue on what to do,” he said.

Earlier, this week Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Henry Mussa, said everybody, including CSOs, has a role to play in shaping the country’s prosperity by, among other things, curbing corruption.

He said the government is open to objective criticism but criticised some CSOs of apparently looking at negatives only while ignoring positives.

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