MISA -Malawi has applauded the Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako for appointing the date for commencement of the Access to Information (ATI) Act 30th September, 2020 to become operational in the country.
The ATI Act provides for the right of access to information in the custody of public bodies and private entities contracted by the government.
The Media body says gazetting on the commencement date cements the positive strides made in the past 17 years when MISA Malawi together with other stakeholders, initiated advocacy work for the enactment of the ATI Law.
This is contained in a statement signed by its Chairperson, Teresa Temweka Ndanga dated 11th September, 2020 applauding Government on operationalization of the ATI Law.
In the statement, MISA Malawi expresses hope that the implementation of the ATI Act will guarantee access to relevant public information and help build public trust in government operations saying it entrenches the key values of transparency and accountability, which are pillars of good governance.
“Malawians will now be able to seek, receive and impart information with legal backing and ease,” reads the statement in part.
MISA Malawi reiterate its call for the Government to allocate enough resources to the Mallawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) to effectively enable it carry out its oversight role, saying public bodies should also appoint Information Officers who would handle information requests.
The Media body says it expects Malawians to fully utilize the Law to ensure transparent and accountable government which is supported by strong democratic institutions.
MISA Malawi is thanking all stakeholders for their technical and financial support throughout the period they have been advocating for the ATI Law.
Meanwhile, Minister of Information, Hon. Gospel Kazako, has said journalists in the country and the public will access any information whether confidential or not.