The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has expressed frustrations over implementation of the Access to Information Act (ATIA).
CHRR executive director Timothy Mtambo, in a statement, says it is becoming a legal curse in the country that after passing progressive pieces of legislations, the country cannot implement them, presumably due to resource limitations.
He says recently enacted laws such as Gender Equality Act, Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act are still suffering from the same resource limitation curse; hence, it is time the country reversed the trend and government needs to take the lead.
“In fact, Access to Information should not be looked at as a stand-alone right. The law is strategic to progressive realisation of other rights such as access to justice and freedom of expression. In a country where resources are being wantonly abused in various sectors, ATIA would come in as a remedy.
“The inordinate delay in implementing the ATIA only serves to sustain the blatant violation of citizens’ constitutional rights, particularly Section 37.”
According to Mtambo, CHRR is of the belief that the absence of ATIA has only entrenched unacceptable levels of corruption in the country.
The sentiments from CHRR comes barely a week after Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive director, David Nungu, had told the Media Committee of Parliament that the financial needs for the commission to efficiently and effectively oversee the implementation of the Act, are K335 759 140, against the current budget of K28 million.