Malawi House votes for greater press freedomBy REX CHIKOKO in Blantyre | Thursday, May 31 2012 at 17:08
Malawi Parliament has repealed the controversial law that empowered a Cabinet minister to ban any publication deemed to be against public interest.
The amendment of Section 46 of the Penal Code attracted public anger and was one of the items in the petitions the civil society organisations presented to President Bingu wa Muthatika during the July 20 anti-government demonstration.
Leader of government in the House Henry Phoya, soon after the passing of the Bill, said the law was gagging freedom of the press and free flow of information in the country.
"Passing this into law sent back our democratisation process by many steps," said Mr Phoya.
However, members of the former ruling Democratic Progress Party (DPP), accused their Peoples Party successors of working in haste to repeal laws that were passed by the same MPs.
"At the rate the PP government is implementing its decisions, Malawi risks going without any law," one MP observed; adding that Section 46 was meant to protect the people from foreign customs.
But Mr Phoya trashed the assertion, arguing the country had enough and powerful laws to protect Malawians from foreign customs' intrusion.
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