Chancellor College of the University of Malawi has distanced itself from a declaration issued by media owners, managers, directors of news organisations condemning the attacks President Peter Mutharika and other Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sympathisers have been directing to the independent media.
Media houses issued the declaration after their meeting on Monday at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre attended by representative from Times Group, Capital Radio Malawi Limited, Zodiak Broadcasting Services, MIJ FM Radio, Chanco Radio/ TV Station, Beta TV and Nation Publications Limited.
But in a statement issued on Tuesday, Principal if Chancellor College, Prof Richard Tambulasi said the Chanco Radio and TV is “not part and parcel” of the Mount Soche Declaration.
Tambulasi said Chanco Community Radio and Chanco TV are “categorically distancing themselves” from the Mount Soche communiqué by private media pweners.
“Chanco Radio and Chanco Television belong to Chancellor College of the University of Malawi which is a public institution and do not fit in the private media category,” Tambulasi explained.
“The managers of Chanco Radio and Chanco Television did not authorise the signing of the communiqué ad are not part and parcel of the communiqué,” he added.
He further explained that the mission of Chanco news organisations are derived from University of Malawi objects “ which are to advance knowledge and to promote wisdom and understanding by engagingin teaching and research and making provision for the dissemination, promitoon and preservation of learning.”
Tambulasi said Chanco radio and TV will continue to be professional, accountable and ethical in fulfilling their mandate.
In their decalaration , the private media noted “the worrying trend being championed by the State House and President Peter Mutharika with a view to limit the media space in the performance of our duty which is to enlighten the public on how it is being governed.”
Last week, Media Council of Malawi wrote State House Director of Communications, Bright Molande, expressing concern over Mutharika public utterances against the media.
Molande has since said that government remains open to dialogue with the media but that President Mutharika cannot be stampeded by propaganda glitz.
President Mutharika has been attacking the indpeendent media, particularly Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and Times Group, over their alleged “disgusting and unprofessional reporting” of his health at the time he “disappeared” after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in United States of America (USA).
In the declaration, the media owners say they will also move the courts to seek interpretation on the role of the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (Macra) which behaves as a police, prosecutor, juror and judge in regulating and policing private electronic media.
“We will present a united front as a media and regard attacks on one as an attack on us all. We will reject divide and rule machinations by the State and we will only negotiate through our mother bodies, Media Council of Malawi and Namisa,” reads the Mount Soche Declaration in part.
The private media has also pledged to ensure that they stick to professionalism and be above board in the execution of their duties.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :