BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera, who promised the independence of media houses including the state owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) during the campaign period prior to the fresh presidential election, appears to be in well organized campaign to buy favours from the country’s media houses.
While his predecessor Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) only abused the state broadcaster—MBC—Chakwera has cast his net wide so as to silence the private media through dubious means and initiatives.
After appointing the owner of Zodiak Broadcasting Station, Gospel Kazako, as Minister of Information before appointing maverick Brian Banda of Times Group as State House Press Secretary, Chakwera has come up with ‘unscrupulous’ initiative to come close to media houses’ leadership.
According to Presidential press secretary Brian Banda, President Lazarus Chakwera has approved a number of initiatives aimed at increasing public access to State residences and interacting with him.
Banda said State House will launch an annual correspondents’ dinner to be hosted during the commemoration week of World Press Freedom Day.
“In addition the First Couple will be hosting media managers and owners to breakfast, luncheon or dinner to discuss matters affecting the industry,” he said.
Last weekend, Banda hosted some Blantyre-based journalists from private media houses to “seek their blessings and professional support”.
Though Banda said the President’s intention is to do away with the mystery that has been associated with the country’s State residences people are of the view that the president wants to silence the media to avoid criticisms.
Malawi Institute of Journalism Radio head of programmes Innocent Mphongolo described the initiatives as good, but cautioned they should not be a weapon to silence the media.