Blood money: Muckraking on Mutharika’s cash handout to Malawi journalists

“I would accept a bottle of whisky from anybody because I would still feel free to criticise them” –Khushwant Singh

The former editor of The Hindustan Times I am quoting above continued to say, “But I would not accept a case (12 bottles) of whisky because, I am afraid, that might influence the way I do my job.”

Tenthani (right) donated the K50,000 'blood money' State House gave journos

Tenthani (right) donated the K50,000 ‘blood money’ State House gave journos

I must admit the past week has been terrible for Malawi journalism. It is not every day that journalists are the subject of the story; they are always “tellers of tales”, as some young colleague of mine would have it.

But this week journalists made headlines for all the wrong reasons. It was all courtesy of the ‘white envelopes’ that the hundred of us were tricked into accepting at Sanjika Palace.

I am using the term ‘tricked’ advisedly. You see, when it pleased President Peter Mutharika to have an ‘interface’ (that never was because of the overzealousness of Master of Ceremonies Timpunza Mwansambo) with journalists Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa told us to collect a folder that contained the President’s vision of press freedom in Malawi.

It turned out that, unlike the eccentric departed big brother of his, Peter does not see things in technicolour. You see, Peter’s ‘vision’, according to the folder my good friend Kondwani directed us to, turned out to be a blank notepad embossed with the presidential insignia, a personalised Peter Mutharika pen (which, I must say, my son Raymond loves lots) and the clincher – a white envelope containing a wad of bank notes that amounted to K50,000!

What a vision! Blank, colourless and reeking of blood money!

Clever crooks, Mr. President, use brown envelopes! Hah! Hah!

But, seriously, I am still scratching my head why my good friend, Kondwani, decided to be parsimonious with the truth. If he wanted to say anything about the mysterious ‘folder’, he should have been frank with what it contained.

Look now, the minister has only succeeded in exposing his boss to undeserved ridicule that his is but a blank vision for not only press freedom but for just about everything.

Before we proceed, like Khushwant Singh agonised above, how much “might influence the way I do my job” for a Malawian journalist? K50,000? We cannot be that cheap! That is below US $100 even for our depreciating kwacha for crying out loud!

By the way, I must add that this treatise, irreverent as it may sound, is in no way trying to justify how most of us handled ourselves during that ill-fated night. Trust me, quite a few of us agonised over how to deal with those odd ‘white envelopes’. Quite a few of us, trust me, considered returning them to source but we thought that that gesture could have been viewed as disrespectful.

With hindsight, however, I guess we should all have behaved like the heroic George Kasakula who never thought twice but said, “I don’t deserve this; please have it back!”

Some of us went ahead to make some feeble gestures of donating the ‘blood money’ to this charitable cause or the other.

But I know we should be ashamed of ourselves. We should have, like good ol’ diarist George, spoken truth to power there and then, and said, “We don’t deserve to be paid just for dining and wining and dancing with the President!”

I know, as one wise man said, “Trust is like virginity – you only lose it once”! But, on behalf of my colleagues – who let our guard down, I apologise unreservedly for letting down the public that trusts us unreservedly. Without attempting to be an ‘intellectual Houdini’, I beseech you that we were tricked and innocently acted in good faith.

Having said that, I hope – unfortunate as it truly was – the Tuesday faux pas aught to offer lessons for both the always-arrogant Executive and the over-rated Fourth Estate.

When researching for this piece, a great friend of mine directed me to a must-read piece of literature in The News Manual under the theme: “Pressures on Journalists”.

So let us honestly interrogate the infamous K50,000 ‘white envelopes’. Did they constitute ‘bribes’, undeserved ‘gifts’ or, indeed, ‘blood money’?

The News Manual notes: “Journalists who are offered bribes will usually be offered them in private. This is so that the person attempting the bribe can later deny that it ever happened.”

Now here we were, the 100-odd us, being offered K50,000s together live on national television. That must have been the most stupid way of bribing people.

The same journal, however, notes that, “Journalists face pressure from a variety of sources, all trying to make the journalist behave in a way which is not the way the journalist would choose.”

These pressures include employers, as businesspeople, trying to break even by being cosy with big advertisers and, of course, government that always want to look good in the media…and governments happen to be the biggest advertisers in most of the developing world.

Notes the manual: “Advertisers can also bring pressure to bear upon (media) owners and editors. A big advertiser may threaten to stop advertising unless you run a news report of something good which the advertiser has just done; or, much worse, it may threaten to stop advertising unless you ignore a news event which is unfavourable to the advertiser.”

I know, under-recognised as we often are, journalists are still the “ears and eyes” of the society. Everyone run to the next journalist they can get when they want to run for office, settle scores with a rival, expose an unfaithful lover, gloat over a philanthropic act…what have you.

Has the Sanjika ‘bribe’ worked?

I guess not. It has actually boomeranged.

First, you do not ‘bribe’ a whole village of people together, as I noted above.

But, having said that, we are talking ‘blood money’ here; it is money paid to a ‘hit man’.

So, by giving journalists the undeserved money, government – or, was it State House? – was unwittingly trying to hire journalists to go and do a hatchet job, do its bidding in the court of public opinion.

With everything going south, I can understand how desperate this government is becoming by the day. It can do with some good press…at whatever cost!

And government did not have to admit to the scheme of things in as many words. Its scheme actually seemed to have worked. Some journalists associations actually ratcheted up to the scheme.

Look, the fact that some journalists’ association applauded Mutharika for the money given out to the hapless journalists because journalists “are not paid well” is probably one of the most asinine things I have ever heard of by an organisation whose sole purpose is to promote and protect the interests of journalists.

No doubt low salaries paid to journalists make them susceptible to such things as bribes. Who does not want to bring home the bacon, as it were?

But here journalists seem only to be looking at the remuneration side which is about employers and their employees.

Of course, for people to do their jobs well, there is no argument that they must be well compensated for for their skills and talents.

But it is one thing for journalists to applaud State House for giving them questionable “white envelopes”, fighting for better perks is another.

Either way you look at it, the Tuesday ‘white envelopes’ were a subtle bribe.

Did it work? That is the moot point; you, the muckraking community – which, by the way, includes President Mutharika himself (the confessed fan of the Sunday columns), are the best judges.

But if, for some unbelievable reason, the majority of journalists are okay with these bribes, then I would not want to be part of that despicable crowd.

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89 thoughts on “Blood money: Muckraking on Mutharika’s cash handout to Malawi journalists”

  1. josh says:

    i’ve never seen or heard about a confused and stupid president like APM..Kamuzi had his own flops aswell as Muluzi but you MR APM i do’nt even know how i can describe you..As for journalists..come on guys,dinner and 100 usd really..i’ve lost trust in you guys

  2. vavlov says:

    Can Malawians trust their president? Did he really win the election or he gave vote monitors brown envelopes? Malawians be worried, you are being once again led by a corrupt leader. So Malawi journalists are so cheap, K50,000!! Surely, whoever gave you this bribe takes you for cheap. Even if he paid lots of money, is such a person worth to be a leader?

  3. Phodogoma says:

    These journos received the money from the president. Could you journos answer the folowing questions

    1. When does ownership of a gift goes to the receiver of the gift?
    A. Upon receiving the gift
    B. Before receiving the gift
    C I dont’ know.

    2. Who is the owner of the donation?
    A. The one who has donated the item
    B. The one who has received the donation.
    C. Both A and B

    3. Define donation.
    A. Donation is a gift given by the legal persons.
    B. Donation is transfer of item from one person to another.
    C. Donation is undefined.
    D. None of these.

    4. Who gives out donation?
    A. The owner of the donated items
    B. The bigger.
    C. The gift of receivers
    D. The gift of givers
    E. Anybody who does not own any item.

    5.What happens when donating items?
    A. The owner of donation signs in a book showing that he has donated his personal item
    B. The donor explains the source of the items donated.

    6. Do you donate what you don’t have or own?
    A. No, then you will donate nothing
    B. Yes if you have been sent by somebody else

    7. Why do we donate?
    A To show that we are angry.
    B. To show that we made a mistake receiving a bribe?
    C. When we dislike the gift
    D. We have plenty of items
    E. For fame

    8. Receiving a gift from the giver and donating out the same item , which comes first.
    A. Any of these two
    B. Receiving the item from the original owner
    C. Donating it out
    D. First you receive it as yours then you think of donating it out
    E, I have forgotten the answer.

    9. When do you accept the ownership of the item?
    A. As soon as you receive it.
    B. As soon as you give it out as gift.
    C. Any time you want.

    10. Is receiving gift and donating it to others the same?
    A. Yes, don’t you know
    B. No, receiving and donating are contradictory.
    C. Let me google for the answer
    D. All of these are correct

  4. saini says:

    Just use the blood money and more money to came as we all come on board of APM

  5. Phodox says:

    Then why don’t you vomit the chickens you eat with your mouth wider opened as if you have spent the whole week without food. This is what prompted the president to give you something for the bag of maize. Giving thanks to one another is common in Malawi.Isn’t it? I think you are the journos who were releasing the results of MEC May 2014 elections. So you don’t need a thank-you. Fools.

    IF YOU HAVE PAID THE GIFT BACK TO HIM OR DONATING IT, ARE YOU GOING TO VOMIT THE CHICKENS AND SOFT DRINKS AND BEERS WHICH YOU ENJOYED THERE? ARE YOU SURE GUYS THAT YOU NEVER RECEIVE MONEY FROM ORGANIZERS OF ANY MEETINGS. YOU MEAN BEING THE PRESIDENT THAT SHOULD BE THE END OF ‘GIVING GIFTS TO HIS PEOPLE’.

    YOU DON’T REFUSE A CALL OR GIFT BUT YOU MAY REFUSE TO DO WHAT YOU HAVE BEEN ASKED TO DO WHICH IS AGAINST YOUR WILL. OKEY.

    And where are pencils and diaries and other items you received from that meeting.

    Finally what message were you given that shows that the money was meant to bribe you usesless homohabils.

  6. Kakha Erutu says:

    I like your style of writing Mr. Raphael Tenthani, but sometimes I don’t like the content. I have enjoyed reading this article.

  7. OBAMA says:

    ABALE CHONDE NDITHANDIZENI KODI ATOLANKHANI ONSE AKHALA AKUPITA KU SANJIKA AMALANDIRANSO NGATI ZATEREMU KAPENA IZI ANGOWULULIKA. TIUZENI ZOONA!!.

    OSATI MWINA ZIMANGOPHIMBIKA KOMA PANO LA 40 LINAKWANA?

    OTHERWISE AM HAPPY ABOUT THIS AND THE PRESIDENT NEED TO ANSWER CHARGES ABOUT THIS ALLEGATION.

  8. Old APM says:

    Za ku MBC zinali konko koma sizikulankhula. Mbuzi za anthu.

  9. Bob Mhango says:

    u cant fool the people all the time!

  10. Msowoya says:

    Very touching news to hear in my ear;

  11. Molvo says:

    A tenthani musaname apa, is that charity work photo, kapena a landlord anu akulandira ma arrears..

  12. mitsubishi honda says:

    Professor Nkhalamba, yogwa, nkumina, nyani

  13. jkkkk says:

    Apology accepted. But can you probe where this money. Ame from. As people who have been writing about cashgate on an almost daily basis dont you think you guys have participated in the unnecessary plunder of taxpayers money.

  14. wafika says:

    Raphael, I like you. As i previously said anything you write will be susceptible now. But you are proving to be made of mantle by offering an apology. I wish someone else could do the same. Shame on Juma and its membership. Will someone from Juma detach himself from that statement or they all are in agreement with what the unfortunate overzealous scribe wrote.

    Aa MALAWI!!!!!! Why cheat. cheated on elections and still cheating. One of you please go and report to the toothless ACB for history, and later prosecution. COWARDS EEE!!!!

  15. zakakaliya mulopwiya says:

    Mr Tenthani has shown that he loves Malawi. He does not want to be influenced the way he works with Sanjika Sikono hahaha. Enanu mwangoti chete bwa? Dyera basi

  16. jbm says:

    your apology is noted but the trick has worked.Can you give us a list of all who recieved and those that have not used it ie donated or returned. you will find majority using which means they will be praising the giver of this blood money.

  17. Kuchekuche says:

    Iwe Tenthani as Journalist you mean you don’t know the meaning of “Blood Money” let me school you!! It is a noun meaning “money paid in compensation to the family of someone who has been killed.” Or ” money paid to a hired killer” ndiye pamenepo zikugwilizana? Mxiiiiiiiii opus a iwe eti

  18. Moya says:

    This is the reality of what goes on in Malawi, it is only just came to light bcoz someone blew a whistle but is this strange really? we all know journalist and other professions get bribes to get job done. Who doesn’t know police gets bribes?who doesnt know at Ministry lands they get bribes for one to acquire land ,who doesn’t know EScom get bribes to have your power connected fast,who doesn’t know government personnel get bribes? the list goes on… but the million dollar question is do we have to wait until someone is caught for us to act and talk about it like the story above? lets be real and talk real issues happening around us in real time. These journalist are just caught up in the system. we all know what goes around or participate but we decide to be silent and only act excited or surprised when its brought to light….Malawi lets focus on root cause.

  19. Nkhata BOY says:

    A PROFESSOR CHIJERE CHIRWA KABWEZENI 50 PIN! Mukunenepera zomwezo eti?

  20. spokosi says:

    inu a mdala inu ndi achindere chakufikapo, you are as dirty as shit!! kazingokhutani masese basi, we now know how stories get through to bbc! curupt idiot you are wotchani whatever you call your name fool

  21. Matokoso says:

    The title should have read ‘Muckraker Raked’. Does he even know what bloody money is? Ayayayaya

  22. popi says:

    after graduating from sec xool, i wanted to be one of the journalists wel respected here and abroad, but you guyz, you are saying to me, you made a right choice not to be one of us!, we are corrupt!.

  23. Chilungamo Chimawawa says:

    yah its indeed blood money because the president himself is blood president since he came to power through vote rigging and the money wasted here was supposed to be used for procurement of ARVs at NAC. Now they are busy denying through MBC (Mutharika Broadcasting Corporation) that they didnt use the money but earlier on they accepted to use it, saying it was for intended purpose, that is to say BEAM and Mulhako wa a lomwe. I cry for my mother Malawi as it is now in the hands of dogs!!!!!!

  24. Chipalamawamba says:

    Atolankhani Mukupanga Matama Kubweza Ndalama K50,000 Lero Koma Tikakuyitanani Kuti Mutithandize Mwa Ntchito Yanu Mumatikwenya, Kulalata ,kunyoza Tikakupatsani K2,000. Ine Ndasiya Kupatsa Mtolamakani Allowance Zikuoneka Ngati Our Journalists Are Too Rich For An Allowance.

  25. Dusty says:

    Baba Tenthani you have cleared your name from this shame.Everybody knows you have donated the money without spending any money on a piece of bacon.’Do the right to shame the devil.’

  26. peter says:

    It is good that you guys have owned up the mistake you made. To err is human. I hope that my president APM and company will own up the mess they have created at NAC and promise us never to make such mistake again.

  27. Fulu says:

    I like the fact that you called the money what it really was/is….BLOOD MONEY. But, I totally disagree with the analogy behind it (hitman) and the reasons of it being called bloody money. That money is/was bloody money because it was taken away from people dying with HIV/AIDS just so to savage APM’s/DPP’s reputation.
    And is it not irronical that the same journalists who took the money are ones who were crying for an interface with APM to discuss “media freedom?” Is it not irronical that the same journalists who reported to us JB has gone for international engagements for two months are now in the front pages saying she is missing and/or running away from being prosecuted? While am on this subject, is it not safe then to suggest that the MK50,000 blood money is already working? So to answer Tenthani’s question, to me, it’s a big YES, the MK50,000 is working. Firstly because the gvt has, even if its just for a while ( about a week now) managed to divert the attention of the public from pertinent issues affecting Malawian to talking about greedy journalists. Secondly, everyone is questioning the integrity of journalists now, unfair as that may be because some of you might have thought, ” well, I will open the envelope in my comfort at home”, which ended up being too late.

  28. Jando says:

    The corrupt practices law require that you should report corruption to police or acb within 48 hours. Did journalists live up to this law?

  29. Jando says:

    The corrupt practice law require that you should report corruption to police or acb within 48 hours. Did journalists live up to this law?

  30. Dziko layipa palibe chabwino. JB anali bwino

  31. Chileka says:

    Ralph Tenthani, you have disappointed a lot of rational thinking people. The fact that you wrote a piece of what happened at your interface and failed or should we say left out the fact that you realized that you had 50,000 is proof enough to say you are not who we thought you were. In clear style of yours, the 50,000 would have been the first thing you wrote. I’m sorry but you have just lost your reputation.

  32. Fwetseke says:

    Stupid tenthani usatitopetse tizingomva zaiwe basi mxii

  33. short wamtali says:

    Tchaya tchaya Tenthani…….

  34. True man says:

    why ZBS is quite on this isue & it repeatedily report the mad person’s report lutepo. mr tenthani malawi’s journalists integrity is questionable they always bow to where they see a green light. Where is pilirani phiri he chose to help his family in exchange with the entire nation, to be frank & open he was the voice of the voiceless, realy he was an asset to a poor malawian but now he is as useless as un born child.

  35. Mkwaso says:

    Bwana Tenthani, dont waste our time trying to excuse yourself from the K50,000.00. Mwayamba kulankhula wina ataulula. You are a hypocrite of highest order.

  36. Chamba says:

    In a civilized society “The Journo-Gate would be ground for impeachment. This was a deliberate attempt by Mathanyula to silence the press with monetary bribes. Did somebody say he is a Law Professor??? I think he skipped some classes. He missed basic principles. I’m not a lawyer but I know the basic fact that it is criminal for Government Officials let alone the President to dish out or accept bribes.. For all the journalist that willingly or unwillingly accepted the bribes shame on you!! ,you may want to consider a second career coz journalism is not ment for you. You broke the Code of Ethics, some professions just need someone with a back bone. My trust for the powers that be and the journalist has just gone down the toilets.

    I weep for The Warm Heart of Africa!!

  37. Rodriguas Latata says:

    Too little, too late.

  38. Ngakha says:

    Ralph why did you miss the 50,000 kwacha bit in your article just after your visit to state house? You are just like the person who otganised such an event. Thus a thief or greedy person suffering from the acute poverty in this country. Your articles r a cry for not being considered. Shame.

  39. hfty says:

    Kupusa basi, why are u putting emphasis on thatstate house tricked u by not telling u what was in the envelope? U opened ur envelope right there at Sanjika and u stuffed the money into ur pocket and even challnged that you would eat it because it was your tax. Kuyaluka ndiye mwayulukatu a Ralph. You are no better than the politicians you love to criticize. Nde mwati lero mukachite kupanga research mu journal article ya lero — munayamba mwapangako research Inu 4 all your articles. The lengths that people will go to justify mediocrity. Ndiye uyisovatu, nanga aBBC akamva kuti Mtolankhani wanu amadya za andale? They will drop u like a hot potato. Kumachenjera and kumakhala ndi umunthu

  40. kale langa says:

    When lutepo headlessly mumbled about something to do with cashgate bucks recently you scribes went all over the place saying he(lutepo) should have deciphered the trick at genesis……..then he saked for forgiveness, somthing you could give over your dead bodies…..now you the corrupt scribes calls something “blood money” yet you used the money at first then after some real journo blew the whistle you rushed to the banks to withdraw whatever remained of your savings to “donate” elsewhere and now you plead for appologies that will never come…………shut up and see your followers subtract at every second.

  41. khula Ngona says:

    Nanga zokudya zomwe munadya kumeneku,

  42. CNN says:

    Tenthani et ak are rubbish folk that have lost my trust forever. I used to read your articles with passion & love but now you are equal to garbage. Its only George Kasakula whom I trust even though he is anti-federalism. If Mutharika gave you K1 million, would not have told us. Foolish journos!

  43. Owen Nyirongo says:

    What happened is interesting.You know Raphael God raises people to be blessings to others.God does not bless people directly. I see nothing wrong with the people that received the money and have gone ahead to donate that money to charitable organisations which in my view is very good.In this scenario the needy children have been blessed because they have benefitted from the cash handouts. God used the scribes through the President to be blessings to the children. For the scribes that have opted to use the money, it might be that they are also in need. Mind you poverty is everywher, so the President was a blessing to them. In Zambia the late President SaTA taught us not to refuse any gift from politicians. In his own words he said”get the money but DONCHI KUBEBA’ meaning that you are not obliged to dance to tuine of the the one that has given you the money or gift

  44. Change Maker says:

    I would ONLY accept a bottle of whisky only if am told whether its a gift or something i have to pay for. Malawian journalists you have more work to do to remain relevant.

  45. KUKHALA says:

    MOST MALAWIAN PROFESSIONALS REQUIRE AS IS TRADITION IN MOST PARTS OF THE GLOBE REGULAR CPD/E -CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT/EDUCATION..CPD/E ENHANCES ONES SKILLS & PROFESSIONAL BEHAVOUR. SIMILAR TO JOURNALIST SAD ISSUE NOW IN PUBLIC DOMAIN, ARE PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTANTS & LAWYERS AFFECTED BY THE CASHGATE POPULAR SAGA IN OUR COUNTRY. THESE MAY BE DUE TO LACKING OR HAVING FEW GOOD ROLE MODELS IN PROFESSION AS SAME MENTIONED HEREIN MY COMMENT . AN EXAMPLE OF WORSE ROLE MODEL IN LEGAL PROFESSION IS PETER MUTHARIKA HIMSELF. PETER HAS BAD HISTORY OF LOOTING GOVERNMENT RESOURCES (BHC HOUSE-B OUGHT BELOW MARKET PRICE), TREASON CASE, & RECENT ONE NAC FUNDS & BRIBING JOURNALIST ETC.

  46. Timothy says:

    I like the fact that you called the money what it really was/is….BLOOD MONEY. But, I totally disagree with the analogy behind it (hitman) and the reasons of it being called bloody money. That money is/was bloody money because it was taken away from people dying with HIV/AIDS just so to savage APM’s/DPP’s reputation.
    And is it not irronical that the same journalists who took the money are ones who were crying for an interface with APM to discuss “media freedom?” Is it not irronical that the same journalists who reported to us JB has gone for international engagements for two months are now in the front pages saying she is missing and/or running away from being prosecuted? While am on this subject, is it not safe then to suggest that the MK50,000 blood money is already working? So to answer Tenthani’s question, to me, it’s a big YES, the MK50,000 is working. Firstly because the gvt has, even if its just for a while ( about a week now) managed to divert the attention of the public from pertinent issues affecting Malawian to talking about greedy journalists. Secondly, everyone is questioning the integrity of journalists now, unfair as that may be because some of you might have thought, ” well, I will open the envelope in my comfort at home”, which ended up being too late.

  47. xyz says:

    where is the country heading to? the judiciary is not functioning. the executive is snoring whilst on the driving seat. the legislature….another toothless arm of government. the press, the so called 4th arm of government… so hopeless. is anyone piloting this plain?

  48. Che Spindulo says:

    Tenthani’s article is a poor and sad attempt at repairing a severely damaged reputation . Whether it is you personally Mr. Tenthani , or the journalism profession in general , you may wish to know that this State House bribery episode has just confirmed one thing : The ONLY reason Malawian journalists get angry and write strong articles condemning corruption and other related vice rampant amongst politicians is because they ( the journalists ) did NOT have a share of the “fruits” of such corruption . If the corrupt politicians were willing to “share” with our journalists , the poor masses out there would have no way of knowing that their country was being messed up .
    Despite what Mr. Tenthani would want us to believe now, he was quite happy to pocket the so-called Blood Money and made no mention of it in his very first Muckracking Article after the State House visit . So, spare us the lame excuses Mr. Tenthani . If you were a piece of cloth, I would say you are cut from the same cloth as either Peter Mutharika or Kondwani Nankhumwa .

  49. Riccardo says:

    kkkkkkkkk wadya iwe

  50. GRM says:

    After all, if it were not this APM money what is it that you can donate? kikiki. God forbid

  51. GRM says:

    Ndalama zavuta pa Malawi. Tangoyamikani in anakuninkhani ena. Munanyamula. Munafika nazo kunyumba simunataye munagwiritsa ntchito

  52. Azijo says:

    All rubbish and nonsense together with your president. For Malawi to develop we need an expatriate president all have failed Malawi. Only enriching themselves including the old late Kamuzu. All shit shit shit

  53. Atcheya says:

    Some things you don’t need to read to comment to know that it’s just rubbish!! I have been an ardent follower of Ralph’s columns coz the way he writes shed that he is a man of high standing. But pocketing MK50,000.00 from Peter is all that was needed for this guy to lose my trust in him, and am sure am not the only one!! As Warren Buffett said: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently” Unfortunately, it is too late for redemption for you guys, and yes, Ralph, whether you like it or not, you, those corrupt Times editors who donated to the orphanage, and those who ‘chewed’ the money are all “…part of that despicable crowd”!!!!

  54. dschi says:

    Tenthani give us a break. Why do u want to cheat us. All journalist incuding urself took it home. A holy saint would have returned right there. As long as the money entered the pocket. U consented to bribery u claim it to be. Raising ur profile shouldn’t originate on this issue. Mwadya zingati inu. Bribery for what? Why couldn’t u return money right at Sanjika as ur friends did. HYPOCRIT

  55. kayakaya says:

    Chalu chithu chanangika nadi kwali kwali aaaaaah pamseu tiluteso nadi mwee.

  56. Zagwa says:

    So you are just like the rest of us after all. The only difference is that you have a Pen and paper to ridicule others. Your desperate and pathetic efforts to justify your greed are only exacerbating the negativity of how we perceive you and your articles. You were there with Kasakula why did you take the wad home? In the the vernacular we say “yatera pa Uta” or Angonife timati “zaipa zada, galu wanyelela thumba la alendo”. You most probably used the money anyway. Mwabwenzazi ndi zina izi. Moving forward we will use the same measure you use on us to judge you. You have already equated trust to virginity yourself. Be professional! I don’t think “real” BBC and CNN journos could have accepted the bribe. Chonchi olo cashgate tingathane nayo? Ndakaika!

  57. Magetsi says:

    Which is worse: to offer a bribe or to be tricked into receiving one, end up in the difficult position of having to decide what to do, taking into account the company that you are in, and not acting quickly enough? There would always be someone who could be accused of being too slow in acting!

  58. TheMask2 says:

    To you K50,000 might be a crate of whiskey but to others its just a bottle of Squash (SOBO)

  59. TheMask says:

    Not only Journalist do receive money when they meet Head of state almost all corners are given that good gestures. we have seen the queens before given envelopes of more than 100, 000 bucks. WHAT DO ONE THINK TO DONATE THE MONEY AND CALL IT BLOODY MONEY JUST BECAUSE IT WAS SMALL?.
    1. why you never returned to the owner when you thought you don’t deserve it.
    2. Is bribe given in public? and when ii is bribe one is told “have this but don’t write this and that”, did they say that to you or intimidate you.
    3. Some journalist receive little salaries and to others to come to the palace it was a hustle probably their institutions never gave them allowances. Was the Palace wrong to help them by giving them something little?? Have you seen them complaining? they are even happy that they managed to buy bread for their homes that day.
    4. I dont give a F**K that you donated the money, the people who received the donation they say you have helped them not the president. it simply means you were happy with them money and thought it is wise to donate to less priviledged than you because it is too little.

  60. Chidikuliku matongu says:

    At state house, we are told journalists were give k500 notes but if you look at the picture closely Ralpheal Tenthani is giving back Anthony Kasunda his donation, the money turns out to be K1000 notes, what happened to the K500 notes you were given at state house Mr Tenthani. I take it as your second thought Ralpheal. So no excuses mr ralpheal you are caught with your pants down period! Am sure you mickracked a full bottle of improved majirijiri at sports bar and came back to your senses the the following day, what a shame!

  61. The Chronically Sick & Ugly Tenthani says:

    Raphael tenthani in Chichewa there’s an adage that goes “nyimbo imodzi sachezera gule.”

    U should rather declare that u have introduced a satirical series called ‘The interface meeting with the President’. Hence, all your readers will no longer anticipate any new and exciting article on the Muckraking (in the Sunday Times) other than the long & boring episodes of your hypocritical series.

    Honestly, it’s no longer entertaining & refreshing to keep reading the same topic and content; week in week out. Otherwise, it’s a simple sign of lack of creativity or ‘loss of touch’

    Shamefully in your episodes on this long & boring series, u keep exposing your untrustworthiness by forcing Malawians to believe that u never realised what was in the ‘white develop’ until I got back home. Thus u were ‘tricked’ to take the money home. But in anther line u are saying u realised that the envelope contained money whilst u were still at the palace but u thought giving it back (like Kasakula did) would be ‘disrespectful’.

    Now my simple queries are;

    1. What is more disrespectful to u; giving back an undeserved envelope in private or turning the envelope issue into a ‘never-ending’ series of ridiculous articles?

    2. Between your self-righteous assertions which one should we believe; that u didn’t realise that the white envelope had money in it till u got back home or that u saw the cash but u thought that to immediately giving back the money would be viewed as being disrespectful?

    Raphael be honest for once! Just say that the MK50,000.00 is way too small than what u have received as ‘hiring fee’ to despise this DPP government. All your efforts are vividly clear; u have always had ‘something big’ against the Mutharikas..

    Dziwani kuti MULUNGU si munthu..!

  62. wa ku nkhoma says:

    tenthani ndiwe wadyera umafuna akupatse zambiri wagwa nayo boy, if K50,000 is bloody money what about the kwacha’s you use every day? DPP woyeeee! 2019 BOMA_A_A_A_A!

  63. Kamdondo says:

    I feel sorry for my fellow journalists for the ill-fated experience.
    I was not sure, am still not sure if donating the blood money jusyfies receiving the “blood money”
    My herp is George for returning the money received for work not done.
    My suggestion is let that money be returned to State House. MISA-Malawi, Journalist Associatipn of Malawi and Media Council of Malawi has a list of those eho were paid for jon not done. If unfortunately they dont have the list, they should get a list of the beneficiaries of the blood money and ask …not ask, but order them to return the money to State hpuse.

  64. Jimmy says:

    Bcz it was on given on public.

  65. Big brain says:

    Kukakamula zaziiiii we need ideas on how to end poverty osati za ma fifty thousand why did you accept it and why are u going on public showing off that you have donated to others.

    Fake fake. Was the money not for accommodation and transport kodi bwanji ku kalamula unnecessarily staff !!!

    Thi country needs more debate o. Poverty alleviation not ha li halu ha lu

  66. xmlw says:

    Bambo Tenthani, we love your articles and look forward to them every Sunday. But sadly it’s not gonna be the same pal. It’s impossible to rake muck if 79 out 80 rakers have themselves got muck!

  67. keke says:

    These journos always want to play it saint, just admit ndalama zinachepa apa period.

  68. BigMan says:

    It was not a bribe, rather a gift. But of course some journalists tried to gain political mileage out on the non event forcing the rest of the journalist into a corner. Was the food and drink also a bribe? How about the accommodation allowances? This is much ado about nothing.

  69. bonya says:

    mr muckcracker. whatever u call urself. u failed dismally as a senior journalist to act as a model. the firefighting PR u have done is an exercise in vain. u shud consider quiting journalism and open a chicken farm because u acted like a chicken. your literary flair in your colmun here is nothing but hogwash. Kasakula is my man. my model. my mentor.

  70. jacaranda says:

    It is absurd to even think that “blood money” should be channeled towards charity. All I know is that the state house know that most of journalists maybe except for editors live a pathetic life, and Tenthani should disclose where else he got real “bribes”. Journalists should be able to distinguish a bribe from a gift. Can someone define a bribe here. All this nonsense must stop. It is either the journalism fraternity is oversensitive or insensitive, making issue where there are no issues just for the sake of it.

  71. Ghost of Kamuzu says:

    MEMO TO President Peter Mutharika.
    You Sir say you are a democrat, a Professor and expert on Consitutional Law. Well you have in bribing the journalists behaved as a village idiot. The question is are you right in your head or have you lost your marbles and are insane? Sadly we know about your drinking. And that you have no clue whatsoever how to preside over the affairs of our country. Better for you Sir to buy a one way ticket to USA and let the Vice President take over. You are corrupt, a dunkard and a failure!

    1. petulo says:

      Please join JB in the US-you are both OLD AND USELESS!!

  72. nationwise says:

    Interestingly, where are the so called civil society organisations this time? Or are they waiting for donors to provide funds to take gorvenment to task over such ridicle from the highest office which has lost its integrity with such petty issue called an interface? Alot needs to be done coz it portrays to the general public that even the leadership of Malawi is very corrupt, so how can the present gov handle the issues affecting our nation like the cashgate if here its being exposed that they too are corrupt? What a shame mr president, had it been this happened in one of the G8 you would voluntarily step down.

  73. John says:

    I like the fact that you called the money what it really was/is….BLOOD MONEY. But, I totally disagree with the analogy behind it (hitman) and the reasons of it being called bloody money. That money is/was bloody money because it was taken away from people dying with HIV/AIDS just so to savage APM’s/DPP’s reputation.
    And is it not irronical that the same journalists who took the money are ones who were crying for an interface with APM to discuss “media freedom?” Is it not irronical that the same journalists who reported to us JB has gone for international engagements for two months are now in the front pages saying she is missing and/or running away from being prosecuted? While am on this subject, is it not safe then to suggest that the MK50,000 blood money is already working? So to answer Tenthani’s question, to me, it’s a big YES, the MK50,000 is working. Firstly because the gvt has, even if its just for a while ( about a week now) managed to divert the attention of the public from pertinent issues affecting Malawian to talking about greedy journalists. Secondly, everyone is questioning the integrity of journalists now, unfair as that may be because some of you might have thought, ” well, I will open the envelope in my comfort at home”, which ebded up being too late.

  74. Baba wa Boyi says:

    I am more than willing to give some Journalists the benefit of the doubt, but not Tenthani. Nothing personal.

    Tenthali was quick to the draw, as soon as he came out of Sanjika he wrote about his experiences at sanjika in his Muckracking. At no time did he mention being tricked.

    The time for him to exonerate himself was at the time he wrote his Muckracking about his trip to Sanjika.

    Zonse ndi thawi, Mr Tenthani thawiyanu yatha. You have shown what type of Journalist you are. the “Do as I say, not as do” type.

    Hypocrisy does not go beyond this.

    I do realize that the majority of the readers here are “Intellectually challenged” and will start praising you for this pathetic collection of excuses and finger pointing, but for the minority who understand exactly what you are, the game is over.

    If I owed a news paper I would wouldn’t let your articles anywhere near it.

    For those that are thinking “Zomwezi?” If Tenthani was a politician you would be saying he should resign, just like Chirwa suggested Muthalika should be impeached. Corruption is a two way street,it takes two, in this case Muthalika and the journalists.

    I do not care what anyone says, but those Journalists knew about the money, and would not have donated it had the cat not been out of the bag.

    How many times do politicians apologise? do we let them off the hook because they have apologised?

    1. Nyani wa ku Mwananyani says:

      Tenthani’yu wangogwa nazo zimenezi baasi. He can not redeem himself: he took the money and run. He had second thoughts only after this fiasco was in the public domain.

  75. dzina langa says:

    maybe some got more than 50 pin. akanapatsa aphunzitsi amene sanalandile za MEC ndi salary.

  76. Dick says:

    So u rejected the money coz it was too little and also it was given in public. Ralph, you have a corrupt mind.

    1. petulo says:

      you look, act,talk, writelike the hypocrite that you are and ALL journalists!! ALL journalist ask for transport, meals and accommodation money to attend ANY function- is that BRIBE if it is just 50,000 or when it is 500,000K?? For crying out loud-don’t take us for FOOLS! If the media houses can’t pay their journalists per diem for functions they should get out of the news business and start selling mandasi in Zomba market! Tenthani, it is well known that you also used to receive monies from JB for articles supporting her and against Petulo-thats why you are no longer a legitimate BBC correspondent!! Maseko from Zim had to come to Malawi to do the news on cashgate for BBC because you never wrote a SINGLE article on it to protect JB!! we are not fools!! shurrup!!

      1. Zidura Ntengo Ubdigwere says:

        If what Petulo has written is true, then Tenthani cannot salvage his reputation – the little bit that’s left. Traitor no. 1 ameneyi; pro-cashgate!!!! (exclamations needed apa)

  77. mafikizolo says:

    Good article Mr. Tenthani . But it will take more than a “good article” for you journalists to restore the trust that the public used to have in you before the ill-fated State House “Interface Meeting” with the Fake President of the Republic of Malawi . We, the public, are keenly watching your conduct from now onwards .

  78. Angel of Doom says:

    With all due respect Mr Tenthani, you wrote Muckracking about your trip to Sanjika, dod you not?

    In that write up I did not see any Muck being racked, all i read in that article were the writings of a man that was grateful for something. At that time I did not know you had been given K50,000, but I did comment on the change of tone, you were as sarcastic as usual.

    So please give us a break, now you know how it feels when you destroy peoples reputations, that that reputation can not be repaired just like that.

    You are trying to repair your reputation, by trying to explain why you did it, what about all those people who cannot explain that Journalists lied about them.

    At least that you took K50,000 is not a lie, and that you did not disclose it until someone blew the whistle, is also not a lie. So you see Mr Tenthani, any right thinking Malawian knows your reputation, no amount of ducking and diving will save it.

    Write as much as you like, but know this anything you write from now on is just “the kettle calling the pot black”

    1. Ghost of Kamuzu says:

      Tenthani you are a dunkard. Love of wine is what you share with the President.You have been bribed by Bingu before and then by Joyce Banda. So stop pretending.You accepted the money and had no choice but to donate it after others did so.

    2. Nyapapi says:

      Very true indeed! In fact these journalists actually demand to be paid what our cornered rat Tenthani is now calling blood money!

      If they are being sincere then they should repay all the monies they got from Bakili, Bingu and Joyce!

    3. Greencardless Malawian says:

      I choose to differ, im not one of those Malawians who think that because Mr Tenthani made one mistake and realised and quickly made up for it then he should be punished forever, i will still read the Muckracker and judge it accordingly if need be. If the president makes a foolish decision and you buy it and choose not to repent, it doesnt mean everyone else should do the same. Of course you are a fool for keeping the blood money. Its meant to save lives not buy you an extra beer.

  79. Andy Ndaonazino says:

    Zodiak Radio “Itiuze zowona” What did they use this “blood money for”

    1. tier 4 says:

      Stop it.they don’t need to explain themselves. Everyone knows, kazako and zodiak are history.

    2. Patriot says:

      Anadya. Mumawsmva kuti anachita nayo moti moti.

    3. Patriot says:

      Anadya. Mumawamva kuti anachita nayo moti moti?

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