Social and political commentator, Humphreys Mvula has threatened to take legal action against Malawi’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) propaganda tabloid, The Weekly Globe for attributing a “fabricated quote” to him.
Mvula, former United Democratic Front (UDF) Director of Research, said he doesn’t want to be involved in the internal fight within the DPP, saying “let them continue on the self-destruct mode”.
On Friday, February 3 2017, the paper carried a story “More Rot in APM Government” in which a Diplomat in President Arthur Peter Mutharika administration working in Brazil is claimed to be working with opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and People’s Party (PP).
The paper also reported that the Diplomat whose name was withheld masterminded and facilitated alliance talks between MCP and PP ahead of the 2019 tripartite elections.According to the paper, MCP President Lazarus Chakwera and former President and PP’s Dr Joyce Banda met on February 2 2017 on the sidelines of the International Prayer Breakfast in New York to map the way forward on their alliance.It further claimed that the Diplomat in question has been key to these negotiations as he is very close to MCP’s new catch Sidik Mia.
The Weekly Globe further incorporated comments from a number of social commentators including Mvula and Malawi Watch Executive Director Billy Banda, who are purported to have condemned the behaviour of the Diplomat.
And speaking in an interview with Maravipost, Mvula said he was “appalled and very disappointed” with the paper for putting words in his mouth.”
I never talked to anyone from the Weekly Globe. I don’t carelessly comment on personalities that I have no knowledge of what they do. Besides, I know Brian Bowler as a distinguished Ambassador who is out there serving Malawi as a nation and its people regardless of their political affiliation.”
He is there to treat all Malawians the same by rendering equal Ambassadorial service.
He is in Brazil for Malawians and not just DPP supporters,” said Mvula.
Accordingto him, it is cheap propaganda to attribute a comment to someone that you have not talked to.”
If they don’t retract the story, i will instruct my lawyers to claim damages,” emphasized Mvula.
When contacted on Sunday, the paper’s Editor, Joseph Mizimbe admitted that the paper never spoke to Mvula and promised to issue an apology to the former UDF Director of Research.
Mizimbe, who sounded in apologetic tone, said their focusing was on beating the paper’s deadline and resorted to incorporating the fubricated quote to add meat to the story.
“We are meeting tomorrow (Monday) on the same. As a paper, we are ready to issue an apology and retract the story.
The apology will be prepared by close of business today,” said Mizimbe.
This propaganda tabloid said to be owned by DPP top brass, among them, Minister of Labour! Sports and Manpower Development Henry Mussa, Minister of Local Government Kondwani Nankhumwa and DPP parliamentarian Noel Masangwi.
The weekly paper has been attacking the State Vice President Dr Saulos Klaus Chilima so that President Mutharika should not pick him again in 2019 elections as second-in-command.
The paper also attacks government critics and DPP officials deemed to be rallying behind the vice president.