22 lawsuits for Galaxy radio over ‘gutter journalism’ on Malawi cash-gate

Mercenary journalism or simply partisan outlook. Six legal firms in Malawi have confirmed that they have received the process of suing Galaxy Radio and hordes of social media commentators after a botched up smear campaign that might lead to the closure of the already debt ridden radio station owned by the family of former president Bingu wa Mutharika.

A day after the Sunday sensational reports on Cashgate based on a document, which has 50 companies but no names, except those for ruling People’s Party politicians, Nyasa Times can reveal details of all the companies the radio linked to senior officials including the Vice President.

As to confirm an earlier report of a smear campaign launched by the  opposition DPP which is opposed to investigations for IFIMs to start from 2006 where its top officials were beneficiaries, Leader of the DPP In Parliament George Chaponda asked the Speaker to stop the Vice President Khumbo Kachali from presenting the matter as ‘he was involved.’

Galaxy Radios Gerlad Viola and Sylvester Namiwa reported that a company called “Crossmarketing” belonged to Vice President and was deleted from IFIMs system on 16 September 2013 by Geoffrey Sinoya after being paid through cheque number 028531 amounting to K68 567 000.00.justice

The Vice President according to the records does not own a company called Crossmarketing.

The company according to Registrar General was registered on 26 April 2006 with Shareholders listed as Lekani Lawrence Loga of Area 43 with K50,000 shares, Charles Kapapa of Chitedze holding K50,000 shares,  Khumbo Nyirenda of Area 18 as having K50,000 shares, Billiat Loga of Area 18 as having K50,000 shares and Luke Kasamba holding K50 000 ordinary shares.

The registration documents were prepared by Lyold Muhara and the swearing was done by Febbie Chikungwa as Commissioner for Oaths.

Luke Kasamba is said to be suing Galaxy Radio while the Vice President is expected to equally file a defamation suit this week.

The Galaxy overzealous reporters told the Malawi nation that PP’s Anita Kalinde and Hophmally Makande owns O and G Construction and was paid K336 482 000.00. Frank Mwanza deleted the transaction from IFIMs on 03 September 2013.

The registration documents indicate that was registered on 13 August 2010 and Lawyer Alfred Vincent Mumba prepared articles of association which indicates that shareholders are Oswald Lutepo, Getrude Lutepo, Oswald Lutepo Junior and Wongani Lutepo.

Nowhere in the official ownership of the company do Kalinde and Makande appear.

Kalinde and Makande have engaged lawyers to sue for K400 million, according to close sources.

The Galaxy document which the prized as ‘investigative Journalism’ appealing all Members of Parliament, Civil Society and International Community to approach the station to access, indicates in a handwritten format on a company called QST Projects, the ‘smear campaign officer writes; Zenengeya PS Tourism.”

Interestingly, the former Tourism PS now at Elderly and Disabilities is not Christopher but Fletcher Zenengeya. The QST Projects which received a payment of K24 958 700.00 belongs according to the Registrar General Christopher Zenengeya whose house number is F169 II in Kawale and Osman Mphozongo who lives in Area 25.

The company was registered on 31 August 2001.

Viola acknowledged the ‘error on air’ but did not apologise to the lond standing Civil Servant whose residence has been
Area 12 and has worked in many departments including Labour and Lands without any scandal.

“Galaxy report was smear campaign and they should not hide that someone wants to close the station or kill them. They have destroyed reputations of innocent hard working people and hiding behind investigative journalism. This is a sad day in Malawi journalism, unfortunately they seem arrogant when simple investigative skills would show you who own
the companies,” lamented a veteran jurnalists who said Galaxy was failing to pay K27 million being salaries for workers for a year and they opted to fire all of them and the legal suits will definitely close the station for ‘carelessness.’

Another official close to the suits said apart from Galaxy, some activists and social media commentators might find themselves receiving suits after they joined in distributing defamatory materials that include bogus claims that senior Government officials and Peoples Party officials are beneficiaries to the cash gate.

“Facebook or any social media does not give you protection. Peoples are damaging each other’s reputation, it will be recommended that we now set a standard on how we create and distribute news,” said an ICT policy expert in Lilongwe.

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