Malawi President’s defamation suit againts Ntata, Nyasa Times unreasonable

When I first read on the social media that the President was going to sue his prime critic, Allan Ntata, I thought it was only a hoax. I just could not fathom that the president would actually do that. But when the mainstream media finally confirmed the case yesterday on July 26 2015, I was very disappointed. I was however not really surprised because the current DPP government specialises in unreasonable decisions and setting priorities upside down.

Barrister Ntata

Barrister Ntata

The President is suing Ntata alongside Nyasatimes online publication for defamation following an article which Ntata wrote and Nyasatimes published implicating Mutharika in the MWK 92 billion Cash-gate. Just to ensure that we are on the same page, defamation is briefly and generally a false statement, written or spoken that injures the reputation of another person. Therefore, in this case, the president is lamenting that Ntata and Nyasatimes have injured his reputation.

Now, by seeking the intervention of the court to protect himself from the defamers, the president has done nothing legally wrong. But politically, he has defamed himself even more, and here are the reasons why:

First: He is the Head of State. There is no head of state in the world who does not feel the temptation to sue a citizen for defamation. All presidents are once in a while offended with lies and or negative publicity in the media that injures their reputation. But they do not sue their own people because they understand that when you are a head of state, it is your duty and responsibility to endure insults, and shoulder the blame for the suffering and poverty of everyone. So they focus on running government and ignore insults and lies against them.

Second: Ntata and Nyasatimes did not defame the president. When Ntata and Nyasatimes published the story that implicated the President in the MWK 92 billion DPP cash-gate, I recall very well, that the story had already been released by other individuals and media operators. Therefore, if the President needed to sue somebody, he should have sued those that broke the story, not those that wrote about it later. Otherwise, I feel the only legitimate lawsuit should have been filed by individuals and media operators that first broke the story against Ntata and Nyasatimes for plagiarism. The president’s lawsuit is therefore not legitimate enough after all he is suing the wrong parties.

Third: There is no evidence of defamation. The audit report on the DPP MWK92 billion has not yet been released and it is not even finished. Nobody knows for certain whether the president is involved in the fraud or not. Therefore, it does not make sense to assert that the story Ntata and Nyasatimes “re-published” was false when the final report is not yet out to vindicate those implicated in the media.

Fourth: The president must set his priorities right. APM needs to understand that Malawians are scared and worried about his leadership. The country is going through tough times, and there are tougher times ahead. Hospitals have no medicine and food, citizens are getting murdered, there is not water and electricity, civil servants need timely salaries, the Kwacha is depreciating, people have no jobs and no businesses, hunger is threatening following poor harvests etc…Therefore, the people of Malawi need to see that the president is doing something about these most important challenges of national interest, not getting critics to court.

Fifth: The people protect the president not the court. The President must understand that in a democracy, even the courts cannot protect his leadership from voices of discontent and criticism. His mandate to govern is vested in the wishes of the people of Malawi, and they can overthrow his government even with the courts and the police on his side.

It was the people that protected Bingu from section 65 and impeachment between 2005 and 2008, and it was the people of Malawi, that supported PP and Joyce Banda to takeover government when Bingu died. Bingu was on the wrong side of the Law between 2005 and 2008, and DPP needed to have continued as the ruling party after the death of Bingu in 2012, but the wishes of the people in a democracy are above the courts in times of crisis.

Therefore, Mutharika must focus on winning the love and trust of the people, and his critics will stand in shame.

Six: The lawsuit is suspicious. In the Lawsuit, the President wants the court to restrain Ntata and Nyasatimes from further publishing articles on the MWK 92 billion cash-gate. The problem with this injunction is that it raises too much suspicion because Ntata already declared that he is investigating the cash-gate and will release a report entitled, “From a Looting to a Kill: A Legacy of Institutionalized Corruption in Malawi .” Therefore, it is warranted to suspect that government is scared of the Ntata’s report, and wish to prevent him from proceeding with it.

Finally, the president must focus on running government and learn to ignore critics especially when he knows they are lying. His reputation cannot be damaged by lies fabricated by his critics because in the end, Malawians will judge his leadership by the works of his hands. That is why Bingu said, “Let the works of my hands speak for me.”

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60 thoughts on “Malawi President’s defamation suit againts Ntata, Nyasa Times unreasonable”

  1. Msoa f says:

    Ntanta will never stop critisizing till APM changes.

  2. Dwambazi says:

    The bottom line is Mathanyula is a cry baby period . Instead of threatening law suits he should listen to his critics that will make him a better president. He can not only listen to handclappers, boot lickers and yes bwanas. He needs to develop a thick skin!

  3. Emmanuel mjuda says:

    These difference btwn u politicians r affectng poor malawian please try to ease de pain atleast let us be buying our local product at a reasonable plice u hv evrything even if u can step down today u will nt suffer just minimise corruption tings we be better

  4. chechipapwiche says:

    if you do not have anything worth commenting don’t do it here

  5. Ntchisi girl says:

    Fundo zabwino kwabasi zomwe mwalembazi koma mukangozinena pamaso pa khothi ngati angakuitaneni.ife tangowerenga sitingakubakileni yayi tere.

  6. I’m on the same page with Mawaya, the writer of this story said himself that the president was not legally wrong so what’s the fuss?????? Ntata was one of Bingus boys so why does he want to fool the people now. Please people don’t take advantage of the ignorance of Malawians then that you tell us this useless story? Nyasatimes is another useless platform where you can easily tell how biased this online news is.

  7. MAFUMU says:

    WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF PETER
    WAITED PATIENTLLY AND SUED THESE PPLE WHEN THE AUDIT REPORT WAS OUT AND IT CLEARED HIM THAT HE WAS NOT INVOLVED  ???

    WAS IT GOING TO BE TOO LATE OR WOULD SHOW A SIGN OF WEAKNESS ??

    WHY THIS HURRY IN SUEING THESE PARTIES ??

    IS HE SCARED OR TRYING TO BURRY THE WHOLE SCANDAL BY SCARING THOSE TRYING TO REVEAL THE SCANDAL ??

  8. Wawa Phiri says:

    Who is Mtata to speak for Malawians? Where has he been all this time?

  9. Royd Mawaya says:

    Ntata is sick mentally and no need to trust him. One, he run away from the Treason case that Mutharika and his team stood firm until the case is quiet thus when this puppet lawyer comes back. What a shameless lawyer. who runs away from a case and comes back to denounce those who stood ground and never run away. True Lawyers are like Ralph Kasambara. He has very difficult cases to answer in court, he never decided to run away and he declared to defend himself in court to prove himself innocent. That man is the lawyer of the years in Malawi. Not the puppet Ntata. He should just stop his rubbish and assist Malawi in offering good justice, not rebuking the president. He should instead assist the president to get things right whenever they are wrong period. I challenge there is no president in the world who knows it all. they all depend on what technocrats tell them to do even speeches delivered by ministers, principal secretaries or directors , name who, they all get this from experts in the directorates. Whenever things go wrong we need to look at who gave the president that wrong story or decision and fire that person. On insecurity in Malawi to me it looks it si the opposition and the civil societies who are behind these robberies unless they come out open to disapprove this. This I say we have never heard an opposition member being robbed at gun point or killed, nor these NGOs or civil society members. But people have broken into police headquarters, Army compounds, State house, Vice president’s residence, rulling parties assets and ruling party’s allies like Mulli etc. Can they tell us this. Njauju is from the south by his name, it could be that some people in ACB were scared of him and decided to get rid of him and put up a lie against the rulling party. mind you more civil society organisations are headed mostly by people from the North and Centre hence this question mark on their involvement on organised crime in the country anmnd blame it on government. salaries are delayed , can you check from which region are these people mainly from? Is this not sabotage? I leave this to Malawians to judge and ask those mentioned to defend themselves like my lawyer of the years Kasambara has decided.

  10. Joseph Moyo says:

    musavutike ndikutipasa mfundo ife awerengi izo kaneneren konko i mean ku court.ndipo ntolani nkumulembera president chonchija?olakwisa ku malawi ndiiye yekha.komanso mukaulule zakuba kwa president chifukwa mmene mudalembera mujamuli ndi umboni ndithu.ndkakumbukaza mulandu wa defamatory olembanso ndi news yomwe zimakhuzidwa.pliz sibwino choncho mungamve bwanji muli inu?Antata ndkudabwa nanu mai uja bwanji simumamnezazambiri bwanji?mwatani

  11. N I B says:

    No SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE !!

    NO SMOKE WITHOUT FIRE !!

    ANTHUWA AKUDZIWANA !!

    THUMBA LA TAMBE ………….

  12. Rat says:

    That’s the sort of professors Malawians want

  13. phinifolo says:

    foul mouthed Nthata Ntata must defend his vomits in a court of law. Enanu mwina simudaone mmene nkhani yokusemera imawawira. Nkhani yowona imakuchititsa manyazi koma nkhani yabodza imawawa ngati chilonda chamoto. Ngali report silinatuluke Ntata WABOZA LENILENI waitenga kuti. Mmaziwa kuti nkhani yaboza imasanduka chiwanda chomwe chimalowa mwawanthu ngati nthenda yopatsilanapatsilana. Mtengano wakujehena

  14. chinkombaleza gumanyundo gowa says:

    You need to respect chiefs, presidents and your elders. Some of you talk rubbish.

  15. MNJB says:

    I agree with most of the substance. However, I just wanted to say that re-publishing a defamatory article can still be defamatory. What matters is damaging the “reputation”. Who knows, maybe most people did not read the first article which was implicating the President.

    Lastly, I think the President must b aware that this is a democracy where freedom of speech might defeat his claim.

  16. Kampalapata says:

    My major take is that the author acknowledges that Ntata and Nyasatimes are peddling lies about the President. Poor journalism in a poor country.

  17. Zonse Zamveka says:

    The president is right for suing these parties and if you say that so far there is no evidence of those involved in the scam, then why should these parties level these accusations against the president? Let them answer for themselves kuti tidziwe zoona. We are not here to entertain irresponsible journalism.

  18. Shokodido says:

    Guys, if the report is not yet out, why did Ntata say that Peter was involved in the K92b scam? Why didn’t he wait for the report to vindicate him. This means that the story was a fabrication. The President must sue Ntata for defamation.

  19. FITZ says:

    What i know is that Ntata is a learned person and he knows what he is saying. Him has the knowledge that many malawian citizens dont have. Let him speak for us. HE HAS THE VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS MALAWIANS.

  20. jim ton says:

    Zuma currently has cases in court, mugabe and putin don’t even feel the need for court, they have they’re respective secret services take care of issues like this, blair and bush don’t sue because of the sheer political weight behind their backs, NOT because “it is their responsibility to endure insult and lies” So Mr. Charombanthu. Please do your homework before posting. And as for you Mr. Sibande, I would like to point out that our legal system clearly states: Innocent until proven guilty. Thus our president is not guilty, thus publishing the president is guilty, is a lie, thus it is defamation. So if you are saying that the president, a man as powerful as himself should not sue for defamation, what message are you sending to an ordinary Malawian like myself? If the president feels powerlesss to sue the almighty nyasatimes who am I?? The state of journalism in Malawi sickens me to be honest. I don’t even understand what your editors are doing to be honest. Do you even realise that you stating in this article that “it is a presidents duty to take critisism and LIES” could be used in court against nyasatimes?? I could go on and on about this but bottom line. You messed up, pay for your mistake!!

  21. Chimani. Game says:

    Silly and useless president

  22. zex says:

    Iwe mwini filimu osamangothangila kuti wakuti mtundu wake ndichani..talk about real issues.Ifeso ndi alhomwe koma we focus on facts.We cant develop just bcz APM comes frm kwathu..The guy z very passive and weak..What he only thinks is about enriching himself..Cry my beloved Lomwe belt.Tabetsa!!!

  23. Ngoni weni weni says:

    you so called mwini filimu ndiwe savage, instead of coming up with good arguments you are bringing in tribalism. that shows your stupidity. atumbuka simudzawatha ndikuwuzeni even if you put them in gas’s chambers like Hitler did with the Jews. issue of tribalism should not find space in the modern Malawi. atumbuka fwe fwe, mbuzi iwe etii eish undiyankhulitsa pambali.

  24. Rodgers Banda says:

    Surely he wants the court to give him easy money. And wants to frighten people not to speak about the money that dirtened the Mutharikas though blind people don’t see. This article deserves credentials for it hammers facts. Oppossors of these factors need mental hospital or else Malawi will remain inhabited by blind majority. They don’t see how thin the cow these Mutharikas are milk.

  25. Dr Mbewe says:

    Here it clear that Peter is implicated in the plunder of resources of Malawi Government. This peter idiot must go. This shall be better for Malawi

  26. banton says:

    mr sibande cool down,mr ntata is goin to defend himself in the law court.i thought he said he has evidence?nde mtima mmalo.munthu akajaila mpaka kukulowa mu panti umayenera kumuonesa inayake yovutirapo kuti aiziwe bangwe.nde ntata wanuyo anatasa kwambiri kuiwala kuti amuchosa chikundu.hahaaaaaa asova ameyo.kkkk

  27. Dickson says:

    Charombanthu, you are a liar. The reason why the presidents you have mentioned are not taking their citizens to court is NOT and will NEVER be what you have mentioned here.
    The citizens of the countries of the presidents mentioned are very responsible that they don’t just wake up one morning starting to castigate or turnish the image of their president. They write issues while here you think castigating your president is your freedom, who taught that???
    You think the journalist or columnist of those countries are empty tins like what you are doing here.

  28. Chakumbuyo says:

    Well argued Mr. Sibande. This fool must go….

  29. Mwini filimu says:

    Kodi mtumbuka mukuti Siwande yu akuti chaniso ,by the way ,this stupid person ntata is from which tribe , but I suppose is one of them. Inu mtundu ujawu , inu nditi ujawu

  30. stain says:

    Because of irresponsible reporting other news outlets are closed due to bankruptcy, after paying heavy fines for redress zakhala bwino ena mwina nkutengerapo phunziro

  31. Kenkkk says:

    They are going to kill ntata if he steps into Malawi. Even in Uk he has to read carefully, they will send hit men to harm him in many ways and forms. The same to nyasatimes executive. Be vigilant.

    If you are going to malawi, I would advise that you alert the USA and European embassies in advance of your home coming and the dangers that you may face there. If you have s foreign passport, even better, alert the embassy or high commission based in Malawi.

    These dpp thugs are really a joke. How did we find ourselves being ruled by these people? They really hypnotised us at the polling station.

  32. Please please I beg you my fellow noble Malawians stop calling APM as Malawi President. This (APM) is the foolish man indeed as Late Bishop Zuze called his late brother Chindele chakumalilapo. APM remains the illegimate president because he didn’t win. If he won God in His tender Mercies He would have given him solutions to the calamities Malawians ate facing. God will never bless stolen things at all. You stole the highest seat and you will feel the pain APM

  33. chatonda says:

    So Peter expects Ntata to pay him money for defamation? Zachisoni indeed. Nanunso Mr Ntata, please reduce speed. Remember this is the killing DPP

  34. Manyetera says:

    Did they say Peter was a law professor?? He needs to go back to the books. Wat is democracy??? Malawi, last I checked was a democratic state. So wats the fuss Mr President? You are sounding like a child who is still sucking his thumb.

  35. Kanthu Ako!! says:

    Sometimes is pays to just watch.

    Sata sued opposition leader, a newspaper, a radio station and an academic for defamation. So for Sibande to suggest that Muthalika has done something that presidents do not do is not true.

    Our journalists are dull, and jump on any bandwagon just to make a name.

  36. Sapitwa says:

    Every citizen has their constitutional right to approach the courts if offended. We don’t need any reasoning in diffense by this long list.
    From this, Iam now convinced that the free access to information bill has nose dived and I don’t see it being tabled in the given circumstances that people are just anything deformation to the characters ngati izi!!!

  37. The Observer says:

    Dear Mr President,
    There is a saying in Malawi: ” mutu waukulu sulewa nkhonya ”
    If you are that thin skinned PLEASE QUIT .

  38. kester chipala says:

    Peter awadulire saman asamangolemba ziri zose

  39. CHOKO says:

    Peter safika 2019- Cardiac basi

  40. pat says:

    Don’t worry the courts will determine whether the suit is reasonable or not, not the defendant. Just get prepared either to hire a lawyer or apply for a loan to pay for the damages. Atleast that will teach both of you(nyasatimes and ntata) to draw a line between personal and nationl interests. Ofcourse I know that you will not post my comment for truth hurts, but all the same, I drove the message home. Good luck!!

  41. Beast Msonda says:

    Sibande I like your writings but this time you have miserably goofed. For example, in the third point , you are criticizing yourself. You are saying the audit report has not yet been finalized, therefore, nobody knows with certainity whether the president’s name will be there or not. This is exactly the very same reason why the president says that Nyasatimes and Ntata have injured him because there is no evidence. In other words, they were supposed to wait before tarnishing the president’s reputation until they have such evidence either from the audit report or any reliable source.

    I am really down with your thinking in this article. Next you want to defend somebody try to think deep.

  42. Chigawenga says:

    Desperate times require desperate measures. These are true signs. Last kicks for a dying horse!! Ill informed again. It never rain for clueless inept and corrupt DPP. It pours!!

  43. Jose' says:

    Sibande and Batumbuka. hehehehdeh

  44. mwana mulopwana says:

    Lyson Siwande, I wish to remind you that ignorance is not an excuse and both Ntata and the directors of Nyasatimes are not people from the streets, they need to understand very well what defamation is all about, you cant just wake up and scribble something because you have heard something talking, you are supposed to be within and led by ethics of journalism, if not plse be prepaired to pay heavily because of your unprofessional journalism.
    Please learn to put your stories when you know that you have evidence otherwise this is the biggining of the biggining,

    1. MSANA WA PETURO says:

      Ndiye inu ozindikira “biggining” ndiye kuti chani? hedeee!

  45. Charombanthu says:

    Well articulated article. There is a Chichewa saying which goes something like this – “Mtengo umene uli ndi zipatso zakupysa bwino umadziwika ndi mabala chifukwa aliyense amaugenda kuti athyoleko zipatsozo”. My advice to the first citizen (APM), expect more criticism and lies leveled against you and your government because you are in that position – Citizen No. 1. If all presidents took their citizens to court for criticisms and lies leveled against them on defamation charges, then Zuma, Mugabe, Blair, Bush, Putin, Goodluck, Muluzi etc, would have been the first ones to do so because I think these have had a fair share of similar criticism leveled against them. Take it or leave it, you will have taken the whole nation to court by the end of your tenure in 2019…

  46. mduduzi nyanda says:

    a toothless gay idiot in the name of professor at law. we already said it that this idiot is not a professorial material. which law? do you think you can manage to answer to every criticism? if you don’t want to be criticized then leave the presidency, cause we Malawians are suffering because of your chicken headed leadership. fool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Gas Machine Head says:

    Where will Nyasatimes and Ntata appear? Which country and under which laws? Will they be extradited from the UK? Do we have repatriation treaties with the UK? Wouldn’t the UK view this as stifling press freedom?

    This is a just a dream from the old man because it will end in the cyberspace where it started.

  48. sir bentby says:

    I guess Peter muthakika is a moron( mental deficiency human) he is trying any means to silence his critics and rebranding himself to with innocence. truth pains and he feels pitched hence trying to stop Ecclesiastes from vindicating his nasties.

  49. Achimidzimidzi says:

    Iwe Sibande, you can not tell the president what to do. Let him sue his own people and his laywers will be paid from tax payers’ money.Let’s wait and see what our courts will say.

    After all it’s a mere question of restraining Ntata and Nyasatimes from publishing the stories and not compansetion.

  50. Achachanda says:

    Ntata expose him please.He thinks Malawians are stupid.He thinks he will make easy billions in old age by deceiving Malawians.

  51. Sayimoni Bayisikolo says:

    If Pitala is found to be implicated in every fraud akuzamanga waku Maula.All Malawians are fed up with these crooks masquerading as our politicians while Malawi is sinking in shameful poverty.He should also explain to us as to how his deceased brother amassed the 61 billion kwacha within the period of 8yrs without any tangible business in a poor country like Malawi.Why did u send the hit men to kill Njaunju of ACB.No any Malawians are pitying thieving politicians these days.

  52. mwahana says:

    THIS COUNTRY HAS BRAINS!!!!!!!!

  53. Professional Vendor says:

    Bwana Sibande, your point number 3, I can amplify it in this way ‘Ntata counted the chicks while in the eggs’ according to this point, there is no determination as to whether our good president errored or not so Ntata jumped the gun and has to face it so that other people can learn to respect others

  54. blessing lipengs says:

    100% true! Thank Sir! we are not all stupid and ignorant of what true and holy .plee send this copy to Mr president

  55. namarokoro says:

    Ntata should defend himself in court. Ndikayesa ati ali ndi evidence?

  56. Nyama Banda says:

    aBALE INU ANTHU AWA ATANISNO GO IN SHOPS KATUNDU WADULA KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA ALOMWE AZATHUWO POPEZA NDI IWO AKUTILAMULIRA

  57. David says:

    Very true

  58. papi says:

    Ntata emweyo kuti wawawa mathanyula umva madzi

  59. tchaka says:

    Iweyo suukuonapo vuto? I thought they have evidence? So let them defend for themselves. Wanya pa nseu walinga mbalume

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