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Advocacy for increased parliamentary reporting gains momentum

By Glory Msowoya

Blantyre, November 22: Centre for Social Accountability and Transparency (CSAT) has called upon the media in the country to amplify coverage of parliamentary proceedings in a bid to enhance transparency, accountability and public awareness.

CSAT Executive Director, Willy Kambwandira made the remarks on Tuesday after a media engagement on Access to Information Law on the Parliamentary Support Program project aimed at focusing on barriers to access parliamentary information and overcoming them.

Kambwandira’s call comes as part of a broader campaign to bridge the information gap between the public and the legislative branch.

“The media forms a critical component of the project and it is essential for us to familiarise ourselves with Access to Information Law as one way of improving our relationship with parliament and to make sure that we increase parliamentary reporting,” he said.

He added that Malawi Parliament was doing a lot of work but the coverage was minimal such that the media engagement was expected to help in unpacking issues to do with access to information and appreciating challenges associated with implementing the law,” added Kambwandira.

One of the participants, Neuma Chokotho who works with Kuwala FM urged relevant stakeholders to rectify some of the challenges affecting the implementation of the law as it leaves some areas to be worked on.

She further expressed optimism that a more comprehensive coverage of parliamentary activities will contribute to more citizen engagement and empowerment.

The Parliamentary Support Program is an intervention funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Democracy International to improve democracy through locally-led activities aimed at supporting effectiveness and independence of the Malawi Parliament.

Over 20 journalists from various media houses in Blantyre attended the media engagement.

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