Malawi minister Jooma disowns Atupele attack: Complains against Facebook imposter

Malawi’s deputy minister of finance, Ralph Jooma, MP, has protested over a fake account on social networking website Facebook in his name while also defaming him.

On the Facebook page, there were obscene and lewd messages posted against opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) president and presidential candidate for 2014 elections, Atupele Muluzi.

“I am deeply shocked and saddened to discover that some unknown ill-intentioned people have gone overboard to create a Facebook account in the name of Hon Ralph Pachalo Jooma and have proceeded to contact friends and interacted with them on the pretext that they are interacting with me,” Jooma said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.

Jooma has reported to law enforcers to track down the imposter and be prosecuted.

Jooma: I don’t use Facebook

“May people take not that I’m the real Ralph Jooma, originally from Monkey Bay and not Nkhotakota as indicated on this bogus Facebook account.”

The deputy minister said he is not on Facebook and does not use the platform.

He said the fake account is by “unscrupulous individuals who are hell bent to damage my character and reputation.”

On the attacks against Muluzi posted on Facebook bearing his name, Jooma said: “Those that have read the contents on my purported Facebook page may wish to note that I have great respect for Hon Atupele Muluzi for his knowledge, intelligence and personality.”

He also cleared that he is Deputy Minister of Finance and Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and Development.

“I inform all who contracted friendship with this Facebook account that despite depicting my rightful photograph this social network account this not mine.

“I therefore ask all of you to ignore all communication originating from this account which has fraudulently been created for purposes of ruining my political career.”

Jooma said he will take “all necessary steps without leaving any stone unturned to ensure that such an imposter is identified and brought to book.”

On Monday Atupele Muluzi also raised alarm over fake Facebook account bearing his names and images.

He said the Facebook account of ‘Atupele Muluzi’ is not his and asked the public to ‘ignore and treat it as mischievous.’

“My Facebook account is Atupele Austin Muluzi,” he said.

President Joyce Banda also denied the involvement or existence of any Facebook account for her.

Facebook is a social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them.

Law experts say impersonation is a criminal offence punishable by law.

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