MISA Malawi would like to applaud the Minister of Information Honourable Gospel Kazako for appointing the date for commencement of the Access to Information (ATI) Act.
The Minister has today gazetted 30th September, 2020 as the date on which the Act will become operational.
The Act provides for the right of access to information in the custody of public bodies and private entities contracted by the government.
Gazetting of 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.
MISA Malawi hopes implementation of the ATI Act will guarantee access to relevant public information and help build public trust in government operations. 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.
We would like to reiterate our call for the government to allocate enough resources to the Malawi Human Rights Commission to effectively enable it carry out its oversight role.
Public bodies should also appoint information officers who would handle information requests.
We expect Malawians to fully utilize the law to ensure a transparent and accountable government which is supported by strong democratic institutions.
MISA Malawi would like to thank all stakeholders for their technical and financial support throughout the period we have been advocating for the ATI Law.