Development Communications Trust (DCT), a non-governmental organisation, has engaged communities in Senior Chief Malemia in Zomba on Access to Information (ATI) Act.
Speaking during the event on Saturday, DCT project coordinator Edna Bvalani said despite the passing of the law last year, few people, especially those in rural areas, are aware of the Act.
She said DCT is implementing a project that seeks to raise awareness on the Act and its utilisation to bridge the information gap among communities.
Said Bvalani: “Access to Information Act guarantees the right to information to every citizen of Malawi.
“We are engaging the communities so that they should be able to understand the Act and be able to follow every development work that happens in their communities.”
She said the project’s main objective is to popularise the Act and empower rural communities to seek information wherever they want without fear.
Bvalani said they expect that at the end of the project, Malawians will be aware of the Act and demand information from duty-bearers.
“We expect improved service delivery in all aspects because people will demand information in case of poor quality of services offered. Information is power and without information, people will be disempowered and there will be no transparency and accountability,” she said.
Meanwhile, the organisation has pledged to translate the Act into local languages, as such Chichewa and Tumbuka, to enable everyone to understand the law.
Senior Chief Malemia commended DCT for engaging the community on ATI Act, saying the briefing empowered them to demand information without fear.
He said: “We used to hear about the Act and we thought it is for the journalists who deal with information.
“The meeting has really assisted us and we are now aware of how we can utilise our right to information and freedom of expression.”