Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa
By Fostina Mkandawire
Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa on Thursday distanced the country from any acts of terrorism adding that no Malawian was involved in the recent Kenyan terrorist attack.
Mussa was speaking in Lilongwe during a press briefing jointly organized by Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation.
The press briefing was held to clear allegations that a Malawian was involved in the January 15 Kenyan terrorist attack which killed 21 people and left 28 others injured.
He said from the factual information available, no Malawian national was reported as a casualty in the attack and no Malawian was involved in the attacks.
“We got confirmation from authorities of the Government of Kenya that no Malawian was involved in the attacks that took place in Kenya,” he said.
He said the Government will take all necessary measures to get to the bottom of the allegations in collaboration with appropriate authorities both in Malawi and abroad and that the country’s security agencies are on alert for any suspicious activities in the country.
He said the Government was saddened that some media outlets started circulating allegations that Malawi was among countries where Al-Shabaab was recruiting terrorists. The media house alleged that the Yao tribe in Malawi is involved in recruitment of Al-Shabab operatives.
“We are seriously concerned that our own media house started propagating the same story line in an article titled Malawi Implicated in Kenya terrorist attacks,” he said.
He added: “We consequently issued a statement condemning this heinous act and we further went on to demand a retraction of the story in its entirety, as the media house went on to publish the story based on an opinion and an analysis of a commentator from a news channel and not based on facts.”
Mussa called on media houses in the country to practise professionalism and avoid sensational reporting of stories.
“Government caution to you our media personnel is to exercise care and avoid causing harm and despondency among the population, including, damaging Malawi’s international relations with its neighbours and partners,” Mussa said.
He said it was the responsibility of all Malawians to safeguard the image and reputation of the country.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Corporations, Emmanuel Fabiano reiterated government’s efforts to get to the bottom of the allegations and called upon every Malawian citizen to maintain vigilance, to preserve the country’s peace, security and stability
Fabiano said allegations that were made against the country had implications on Malawi’s diplomatic relations with other countries.
The attack was carried out by five male suspects, one who blew himself up at the start of the incident, while the other four proceeded to the Dusit Complex. All the armed assailants whose identities are yet to be determined, fell at the end of the security operations.