Government says it remains committed to ensuring that the Access to Information Law is operationalized saying tremendous progress has been made towards that.
Government says the committee to work on the issue was suspended because of Coronavirus with assurance that once COVID-19 is over, it expect to work on final stages towards operationalization.
This is contained in a statement by Minister of Information who is also government spokesperson, Mark Botomani wishing all journalists and stakeholders in Malawi, a Happy world Press Freedom Day.
In a statement, Government says President Peter Mutharika supports media freedom in Malawi and across the world saying in his time as president, no journalist has been arrested, tried and convicted for lawfully doing their work.
Government says it remains the biggest advertiser in all media houses even those that attack the Executive everyday saying the decentralization of information function to ministries, departments and agents means journalists are able to get information from the public relations experts freely.
“The Day serves as a reminder to governments of the need to respect their committment to press freedom, and it is also a window of reflection for media professionals on issues of press freedom and professional ethics,” reads the statement in part.
The statement says government finds the theme, ” Journalism without Fear and Favour” very fitting because it is loaded with a call to journalists to exercise their duties without fearing anyone and to balance that lack of fear with lack of favour, advising them that they are not supposed to fear governments and never to favour opposition.
Government ought to advise journalists to remember to work without fear or favour saying in the past 12 months, journalists in Malawi knowingly or unknowingly, have been fearing and favouring the opposition parties and civil society.
Government is advising journalists to stand a loof, away from all influence and be guided by that which is good for all, not just the elite saying the media in Malawi could be free from government but ending with a question: Is the media free from the calls of opposition, civil society and business captains.