Mutharika signs landmark ATI law

President Peter Mutharika has assented into law the eagerly awaited Access to Information (ATI) Bill and Financial Crimes Bill.

The signing of the ATI is a landmark achievement for the country and will go a long in increasing transparency and accountability, advocates for the bill quickly reacted yesterday.

Secretary for Justice and Solicitor General Janet Banda confirmed Wednesday the development putting to rest fears of the media and civil society that Mutharika will not sign the bills particularly.

“Yes the president has signed the two bills; Access to Information and Electronic Crimes Bill,” said Banda.

Advocates say the ATI will enhance protection of state resources by empowering the public and the media in particular to be able to legally force government officials and institutions to release information deemed public interest.

However, the fight for its passing into law dates back many administrations and despite being passed by parliament, an opposition drafted bill faced stiffer challenges to receive support from Mutharika who loathed aspects of the bill.

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    Methinks APM’s hand was forced. Maizegate and chaponda’s arson were just too much stuff on his hands! He needed a change of the subject.

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