Malawi government is demanding an apology from The Times of the UK over an article it published claiming that Malawi’s President Dr Lazarus Chakwera travelled to London to attend a virtual summit due to unreliable internet in the country.
The article also stated that the Malawi leader traveled to UK with his family (wife Monica, daughter Violent and his son-in-law Sean Kampondeni).
Malawi’s leader blames it on the broadband as he flies entourage to Britain for video summit
But the Minister of Information, Gospel Kazako, who is government spokesperson, argues the article is misleading and inaccurate with potential to damage the reputation of the Chakwera and the country as well.
“The named individuals have travelled with the President because they have important roles to play at the summit. For instance, Mr. Kampondeni is the President’s Executive Assistant and Director of Communications, Ms. Violet Chakwera is the Personal Assistant to the First Lady while it is traditional worldwide that the First Lady accompanies the President on his
travels,” said Kazako in a statement issued on Wednesday.
Chakwera is London attending the Global Education Summit financed by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), which started on 28th July and ends on Thursday, 29th July 2021.
Kazako said Chakwera was invited by the Co-chairs, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Other leaders attending the summit include Presidents of Ghana, Sierra
Leon, Nigeria, and Kenya.
“The Government of Malawi implores all media houses locally and internationally to cross-check facts with the relevant authorities rather than rushing to publishing inaccurate information that has the potential to damage the reputation of the President and the
country as well.
“The Government of Malawi, therefore, has been compelled to seek an apology and retraction of the malignant story and reportage by The Times the UK, and that the article is withdrawn from all its platforms. We have dispatched correspondence relaying the same to
the Times,” contends Kazako.
He claims that the GPE is the largest global multilateral fund dedicated to education in developing countries which aims at strengthening education systems in developing countries to dramatically increase the number of children who are in school and learning.
“The Global Education Summit will benefit Malawi in leveraging International Education Grants that will support basic education. With economic impact of the Covid 19 pandemic, Malawi’s physical presence at the summit is crucial as the country will be among distinguished players in the global education sector which offers education financing,” explains Kazako.
He, therefore said Malawians should be proud that Chakwera is attending such an important summit as it is an opportunity to negotiate for funding aimed at improving the education standards in the country.
According to him, Malawi has been a recipient of GPE funding since 2010 (US$ 90million Fast Track Initiative Catalytic Fund in 2010-2014; US$ 44.5million 2016-2020, Malawi Education Sector Improvement Project; and US$10million grant, accelerated funding on COVID-19 Response May 2020 to November 2021). Malawi is in the process of applying for new funding (US$ 57 million from GPE of which US$ 48.7 million has already been approved by the GPE Board) for the Malawi Education Reform Programme (2021-2025).