Misa Malawi censures Mutharika for attack on media: Repressive tactics unacceptable

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Namisa) Malawi chapter has advised President Peter Mutharika to refrain from attacking journalists and local media houses.

Khanje: Don't suffocate the media, an oxygen of democracy

Khanje: Don’t suffocate the media, an oxygen of democracy

The media watchdog’s statement ollows Mutharika’s outburst at a news conference he held on Thursday at official Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe aimed at updating Malawians on his recent trip to United Nations General Assembly.

At the news conference, Mutharika together with his spokesman Gerald Viola, accused the media of probing Mutharika’s travel bill to the UN Assembly.

But Misa-Malawi chairperson Thom Khanje in an interview with a local radio on Friday, described Mutharika’s action at the news conference as “unpresidential” and against what Malawians expected to hear.

“We are concerned and I don’t think this is what Malawians expected from the President” said Khanje.

He reminded the President that attacking the media is the same as attacking the country’s democracy hence the need to leave the journalists discharge their duties freely.

Khanje further encouraged Malawian journalist to continue the good work they are doing and to further investigate the real figures Mutharika used during the UN tour.

Nyasa Times and other media houses revealed to the general public that Mutharika travelled with a delegation of over 100 delegates.

Government officials including Minister of Foreign Affairs kept on arguing that Mutharika had gove with a delegation of 18 people.

But Mutharika said he went to US with a delegation of 106 which is of course on the hire side but defended the move saying the majority were funded by Civil Society Organizations (CSO).

During the news conference, the President described the media in Malawi as “irresponsible” and “agents of the opposition” for criticizing his trip over the size of his entourage, hiring of a private jet and the level of expenditure incurred in the wake of economic problems prevailing in the country.

President Mutharika even asked for an apology from some media houses over stories on the trip and fell short of specifying what action he would take should the apologies not come forward.

“We find the remarks by the President and his press secretary retrogressive and a threat to media freedom and freedom of expression. We are surprised that the President decided to target the media with unreasonable attacks instead of responding to the issues at hand and providing information Malawians are looking for regarding the trip to the UNGA,” a statement from Misa reads.

“Attacks on the media are attacks on democracy and should not be condoned”

MISA Malawi stated that the media has a duty to report and inform Malawians on matters of national importance.

“We believe the President’s concerns could easily be addressed by ensuring that government is proactive in disseminating information and enacting the Access to Information Bill (ATI) and ensure that Malawians have accurate and relevant information to make informed decisions. Secrecy and lack of information, as has been the case with the president’s trip to the UNGA, only creates room for speculation and rumor mongering,” Misa said.

The media body said the trip by the President to the UNGA was funded by tax-payers and Malawians have every right to know how their money is being spent by those charged with the responsibility of managing the resources.

“ And the media has constitutional duty of holding the government accountable in the way they use public funds and how they are governing the country in general,” the statement said.

Misa Malawi asked President Mutharika to always be “transparent and accountable” as he discharges his duties.

“He should also respect the role of the media in providing checks and balances on his government. Where he has concerns, they can be channelled through relevant media bodies for their review and adjudication,” Misa said.

Misa feels the approach taken during the news conference at State House creates an impression that government is taking systematic steps to suffocate the media, thereby strangling the country’s young democracy in the process.

“That cannot be condoned in a democratic Malawi,” Khanje said.

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65 thoughts on “Misa Malawi censures Mutharika for attack on media: Repressive tactics unacceptable”

  1. Kabononkhola says:

    Kuti Khumbo adziti sitidzaleka kuyenga kodi timayenda mu makomo mwa manu, ankayankha ndani? The media has always been there.

  2. Bahati says:

    Things are getting out of hand…The wise just resign as did Thabo Mbeki.

  3. baggio says:

    kkkkkkkkk mai malawi

  4. True Man says:

    Dont associate with an angry man he will spoil you.

  5. Chigawaneni says:

    Ambuye Mulungu, ife ana anu tachepanazo izi. Chonde, weruzani ndinu. No one is above you Lord.

  6. Gerald nkhoma says:

    Adzaona 2019.

  7. Concerned Diaspora says:

    Most of you journalists in Malawi you are form 4 left overs. The image you are putting Malawi on the international scene leaves a lot to be desired. Can you visit proper corridors of colleges before you are given any big platforms… I have been following all the events in my homeland but it seems the office of the president has become a very difficult job in Malawi. To rule people who are hungry to be rich 24 hours wosalimbikila ntchito kumafuna kulemela pompo pompo it is a pathetic situation… what a people you are? This is a dangerous generation… you are fierce people… difficult times for Peter and all presidential aspirants like Chakwera … You talk left and right all the way through JB you tone does not change… fierce people you are killing the flavour of the office of the president… This nation needs total deliverance… Pervese generation… all iweyo lero ukhale president ungathese chinjara chandalama chimene wina aliyese akufuna kulemera pompo… If they give you positions ku Malawiko mukubanso kuti mwayi wanga uja… you need deliverance this is a sick nation…

  8. PHILLIPS CHISAMBO says:

    That’s how it is! What do u expect if u take a son of a criminal and a dictator himself,what will happen? In such out burst,we can only summarise that Peter is hiding something,corruption is @ its best

  9. defender says:

    anzelu zakuya koma osauka

  10. Bandawe says:

    Media Freedom of expression with responsibilty not sectivity PRESDENT JB Went tn most oe the cnuntries on eath .Where were the Media

    1. Kabononkhola says:

      Kuti Khumbo adziti sitidzaleka kuyenga kodi timayenda mu makomo mwa manu, ankayankha ndani? The media has always been there.

  11. Mlomwe says:

    T/A KABUDULA MU PASSPORT MUDALEMBEDWA DOTOLO KABUDULA,HSA WAPA BWAILA MUDALEMBEDWA NURSE REGISTERED,OYIMBA NG’OMA MU DPP NGATI NURSE TECHNICIAN.TIKUMAKUWONANI BWANA MUZATIMVA 2019.ZOMALIMBANA NDI ZODIAK ,TIMES NDI ENAWA MUYALUKAPO CHABE.MOYA KUMUDZI ANDITUMA KUTI NGATI MWATOPA TULANI MPANDO WANU MUWASIYIRE ENA.NGATI MUNGAKUMBUKIRE PAMENE AKALAMULIRA A BINGU PA CHITAKALE FILLING STATION MAGALIMOTO AKAYIMA PA Q MPAKANA PA NKHONYA.BWANA MPANDO UWO UMAFUNIKA ENI AKE A MALAWI INU NDI AKU MOZAMBIQUE.NDIKUNAMA?ALOMWE AZANGA PHUNZIRANI KUTI MUZINDIKIRE

  12. samison chaphwete says:

    this government doesnt care about poor malawians…C u 2019

  13. benjnes says:

    ACTION HAS TO BE TAKEN SOON OR ELSE WE WILL END UP SUFFERING LIKE WE DID WHEN HIS BROTHER WAS IN POWER. DISCIPLINE IS IMPORTANT

  14. thom says:

    Zimene adalemba atolankhani sizabodza kodi Ma Cadet a Dpp 8 komanso a TA Kabudula ndanzawo which CSO adawalipilira ulendowu

  15. john wa chilungamo says:

    The oxygen smells bad and makes even we the readers uncomfortable

  16. Ken says:

    We the people you claim you stand for are just watching you exchanging defensive tactics, know that both of you are very irresponsible in your dealings, continue tarnishing the image our beloved nation in the name of democracy

  17. Okhrana says:

    Thom Khanje and ur crew, u always let us down how u publisize news. Even a form one chap at community day sec sch amaseka. Journalist in malawi ndiyomvetsa manyazi, reason is ful with ana amene have failed to get good points at MSCE ndikunama? Zodiac anthu osapita patali ndi sch they know that imaulutsa false stories. Kuyambira kale pipo amaneka kuti( ngati u want to hear zaboza tune zodiac and read nyasa times. I wish ndikanalemba pa newspaper, i ve a lot t say za lack of professionalism by media houses NONSE

  18. Nasan says:

    Kodi atola khani aipe lelo chifukwa choti DPP ikulamula musaiwale zomwe mukanena thawi ya JB .APM OSOVA wakula watha

  19. VINKA says:

    WAW OUR SELF CLAIMED MILLIONIER PRESIDENT WHY NOT PUMPING IN YOUR MILLIONS IN THE BROKE DPP GOVERNMENT LIAR YOU ARE MILKING A VERY THIN COW YOU STEALING OUR MONEY ANTCHONA REMEMBER YOU AND YOUR LATE BRO COME BACK HOME IN A TERRIBLE STATE ONE WAS A MINIBUS DRIVER AND YOU ACONDUCTOR AND NOW YOU ARE TALKING BULSHIT

  20. Journo says:

    We brought bingu down wait and see what will happen to this Apm he is going down keep on shouting at journalist and we will fight back

  21. True Malawian says:

    Jessie kabwira you r the true democrat palibeso U R A PILLAR IN MCP.. LONG LIVE JESSIE

  22. Bandawe says:

    Arrogance= cardiac arrest. ………heart disease runs in the family!!!!

  23. ANALYST says:

    Thom Khanje ndi wa DPP, no wonder statement yakeyi ili vague! Mxiiiiiiii

  24. milonde says:

    the media has very poor investigative journalism capabilities and are poorly educated and literate and thus always ptoduce half-baked, needlessly sensationalized, shallow and inaccurately substantiated news. On this issue only, i side with Mutharika- i would be just as angry.

  25. akusipikana says:

    That’s what it means to be a president. If you don’t want to be criticised for your mismanagement of public funds or anything wrong with your governance, then step down. This is a cry of people who are hungry, sick and dying because hospitals have no medicines, the poor, the helpless no good schools, poor roads, you name it. And you have the guts to despise the very people that brought you into power. Sorry I forgot that you came into power through rigging. Come on Mr president, have a heart. These very people will bring you down. They are not fools. Mark my words.

  26. December London says:

    Mutharika said he will visit London in December, well that is the right time for Malawians in London to make a CITIZEN’S ARREST. On grounds of the billions Bimgu and Peter Mutharika stole from Malawi

  27. chingolopiyo says:

    MISA Malawi, please also educate your media to report professionally, Zisamakomera mbuzi kugunda galu, koma iye akati abwezere nkumati wachiwewe. Freedom of press has to follow right things. The media is not there to destroy other people because we hate them. ”Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to a better understanding of ourselves” Carl Jung

  28. pragmatic boy says:

    Sometimes we tend to wonder if this guy is genuine professor.Apparently his reaction to the journalists has just shown that our hard earned taxes are being misappropriated.

  29. Wapakaya says:

    Sayin ng’we ng’we ng’we, kutukwana a media, are indications of dictatorship. In democracy, pipo are allowed to express there fillings without hicups while guiding the president. Bt inrultinp pipo puts u alot of stumps on your way.check recipients b4r utalk. We don’t want 2 cadiac news anymore. Let alane of media houses.

  30. kapy says:

    Atola nkhani akumalawi choonde tazimvakoni kuzuzulidwa… koma inu simukuchita manyazi nokha mmene mukulembera nkhani mmalawi muno? Analyze nkhani za zodiak,daily times with neutral mind you will be a to identify your weaknesess as Jonalists from a poor country from mw

  31. Chimphula says:

    What’s better being in transit for 10 hours and a Malawian dying of hunger or lack of medicine because money to buy drugs or food has been paid to a chartered jet. Sure Mr President your flying convenience is more important than the life of a pregnant Malawian mother who dies because ambulances are grounded so that you can fly in a private jet. You can’t stop globetrotting even when people are dying because you have taken resources that could have supported life. Surely something is seriously wrong with this man called President of Malawi. MCP where are you? This is the time you need to provide leadership. DPP has failed completely you need to rise to the occasion. How can this guy call us nonsense. From today he becomes Mr. Nonsense.

  32. defender says:

    zodiac team, suggest president asiye kupanga haya jet,perhaps azikwera ndege ngati munthu wovutika becoz we r poor especially at this time wen economy is stuggling. now is this a solution to problem facing our economy?, or do we bleme president 4 everything..may that can b punishment to the president 4 his wrong doing, realy? am a servant in MOH wen we want saraly hyke we don’t mind about economy, wat about judicial, or wisest of all.. lectures at unima, shud the president only (nangasi inu simulakwa) sufer 4 bad economy realy? a media build this nation pliz not kuphwasula like that..mpaka kukafusa za jet pomwe muthu kufotokoza bwinolomwe realy?

  33. dziko chakwera says:

    Journalists are pretty crazy. They criticise others day and night. They call politicians all sorts of names. Yet, they don’t want to be criticised. Kodi atolankhani amazing ngati ndani?

  34. Tcheya says:

    The President was provoked.Wakhala asakuyankha zambiri mumati he is not in charge of the gvt. Lero wayankhula mukuti walakwa.APM u have done nothing wrong,there is need to pump sense in most of the Malawian journalists.U deserve an apology.President usamamutengera kumtoso.Its not a joke to run a country.Musamusokoneze APM.

  35. ada manda says:

    Malawian journalists these days watered down by who I dont know. Lackin objectivity. Arguments without facts, kuyiwalaiwala. Hey u luk for objectivity from APM and yet u dont provide it urselves shame. Pamudzi pano tilira Ambewe ife!!! Mwawadziwa?, mithutha ya objective reporting.

  36. drakes says:

    Is MISA there to support untrained and unprofessional reporters it is high time MISA need to clean it’s house. You don’t Write lies and half-baked and unestablished storie and create hatred against elected leaders and expect people to keep quite. We never elected Journalists to lead us and as a regulatory body you need to set standard and you need to have a register to register all qualified reporters as other profssional bodies are doing. Many failed politicians have turned to be reporters and when reporting they report basing on party lines not following ethics. This is what people are against and at times we expect you to discipline errant reporters. Without regulating your body one day your reporters will provoke a war in Malawi and know it that the civil war in Rwanda was provoked by un regulated reprint.

  37. JIHAYE says:

    Agree with Cheyo. The real problem for me is lack of information and if state organs can provide information once journalists or the public request such information, it can clear the confusion that we are seeing. Like right now the President made a statement and if we had an effective PR machinery they could have come up with the list that went to Ney York and their sponsors and they could have told us how much it cost to hire the plane and made all this information public. Otherwise as it stands some people still believe what they read and not what the President clarified. Imo the President deserves to have a plane. That said, the President needs to spend more time with the media and it would be helpful if he also kept the relations cordial/

  38. Parallel Market says:

    Colleagues,

    The manner Govt issues are reported by our media houses leaves a lot to be desired. Its full of malice, anger, jealousy and above all irresponsible. For example:

    1. Presidential Jet issue

    What is wrong with chartering a plane for the Head of State? Everyone knows that the Govt is chartering planes because we do not have one for our president. Much as Malawi is poor and destitute, I find it out of order to imagine that our President should be queuing with us in airports hitch hiking planes. Why do we want to be humiliated like that? As a country, we need to have our own Presidential Jet. Nobody can respect Malawi if we do not to respect ourselves and stand up and be counted.

    2. Misinforming the nation.

    Rumour mongering is not acceptable in a civilised world. Misinforming the nation is not only retrogressive but also counterproductive. It only brings shame to the gossiper. I do not understand the rationale of reporting negative stories about your own country destroying it in the end and making the country a laughing stoke on the international stage.

    please Malawian media, help to build our nation. Good image of a country attracts FDI. A bad image does not. Please help build a better image for our country….

  39. APM should name those organzations who paid for those tax did not pay. Also what roll did they play in being there? What roll did an African chief play in an internation meeting? These people are used to say Well Wishes paid to hide the tax money they are using. If Malawi was Peter,s private business could he take 106 people? He is talking f 106 like it is ok it was only 106. Zambia, did nt take 100 , South Africa with strong economy did not. Why because South African economy is handled by whites. They count and reason. Africans live for to do. That is why a rich African will die poor not a Whte. We must start looking into our genes what makes us differnt from other race.

  40. defender says:

    a misa, is this wat u call democrancy? writing anyhow, attaking president at wish is democrancy, realy? then l think democrancy is not that good, atleast for malawi

  41. A good leader and a politician does not attack journalist. As a law professor should know better how to answer questions. By attacking jpurnalist means he understand why people are questioning his huge group. A man is not a politician. I have followed Malawi leaders since 1994 all of them dont want to be quetioned. They want to do as the nation is theirs or there business. What they forget is their are servants of the peopl who put them there. It is sad it does nt matter how educated they are they all behave the same. WHY? Because they know Malawians can not do anything. Malawians have to put stop to this. Otherwise this will continue and Malawi will be the porest for ever. Peter should watch what he says. His advisers are the same his brothers had. Alhlomwe will nt save him. They too are suffering like all Malawians. 2019 is not far. He should watch out. He can run away from 92 billion to day but it is still there. It will catch up. JB wanted Ndata to be women specialist hospital. Good idea, but Mbendera stopped this with his crocodile tears.

  42. GRM says:

    In all this Malawians are the losers.Taluza. Taluza naye. Komano mtunda watalika aukwanisa AGOGOWA? Ngati ana amafunsa makolo kuti kodi lero sitidya nanga bwanji president? Tisamufunse kuti ationese sogolo kuti liri pati? Ngati amafuna kulamulira nyama zosalankhula bwanji osakhala mbusa wang’ombe. Olo ng’ombe sizingadabwe ngati mbusa akuzisiya kudimba mpaka usiku? Sizija zimabwerera zokha mkhola? MDIMA WACHULUKA BAMBO. Show us the light and hope

  43. JT says:

    Good job, Misa! Go get ’em.

  44. CHALO NTCHITEREZI says:

    This president l doubt if knows duties of journalists.He shld stop threatening and insulting Malawians.

  45. Pat says:

    Malawi media is useless. The only true journalist Malawi has ever had is Eunice Chipangula. Enawa ndi madeya enieni

  46. Mavizi mtanga says:

    Chitsilu uyu

  47. victim Chamkhuni Lwazazi says:

    Malawi is a dead state. God have mercy.

  48. Madziakaphwa says:

    Useless misa, you should carelesslly criticise the president with you stupid and baseless articles, and you should left scot free?. I remember last year the median had alot of stories to the extent that mutharika was going to US to a meeting that had long be concluded, it all over in almost all media houses but it turned out mutharika was doing everything right, what did you do? This is total nonsense, you dont unnecessariry attack someone of presdent carriber and you expect him to backfire on you. If its chamba mupenga

  49. Bob says:

    I personally feel we have a very stupid, clueless and an unpatriotic president. He cant make a wise decision. Mark my words you will not last a year.

  50. Sapitwa says:

    Ifenso tatopa ndikutinyetsa nalo boza Ku mediako.
    You lied about where the plane was chartered from. You have lied about the number in entourage which has been inconsistent. You lied about charges if hiring the plane. Is this the freedom of media you are boasting about? Which Malawian are interested ndi nkhani za mkutu in the name of Media freedom? Mumangomva Democracy? Go back to xool and learn what Democracy is? Mbuzi zonama!

  51. mtumbuka1 says:

    We don’t have a president in Malawi, we have a guy who abandoned the country 50years ago and only resurfaced when his brother called him to say come home and eat the money cos I’m now the president. This guy does not have the welfare of Malawians at heart he is a desperate professor hungry for power and wealth which is evident in his actions after his brother died, he wanted to hijack the smooth transactions of power from his late brother to Joyce Banda, he failed to steal power but still he managed to spend his millions to bribe mbendera and his friends to get in power while in opposition and it’s a pity that we think in 2019 he will lose. If he managed to rigg the votes while in opposition what will stop him to steal the votes while in government??? The best way is to impeach the idiot and if he resist then the whole country must stay away from work till he steps his ass down. Civil servants are paid peanuts yet they helped him rigg the votes and funny enough they are the ones crying the loudest.

  52. APM says he is a millionaire, of-course with the money he stole with his brother. Also is h telling us he paid the trip with his millions? The man is becoming orrogant like he did during his bother,s time. I dont know why Malawians did not see what will be outcome of this muchona. JB said re count votes which is normal in elections which o wrong. Everyone knew that Peter did nt win the elections. There is no way he could win. Maybe we should remind him that it is a matter of time before he face the same like his brother.

  53. Mphalapili says:

    Fisi ameneyu wotchedwa kuti APM chilipo chikumutsata,chachikulu mwina infa.

  54. Hoho says:

    Gerald Viola and the President were 100% right. Zodiac very unprofessional. They think they are the best. They forget that their unprofessional broadcasting cost people lives on 20th July. Everywhere in the world he media reports responsibly not this stinking media house. Atsikana ofunsa afunsowonso kuoneka kuti brains njeee. Munthu wangofotokoza kumene iwo anali kuti? Sakamvetsera kapena kungofuna kutchuka? Anthu ambiri amati mfweee mfweee ali president akuthawa press conference. Lero wawauza chilungamo ndiye tsono poti mfundo alibe ndipamene akucitabe makani. Inu ngati simudamvotere APM you have no right to call for his resignation. Wait until you usher yours in unforeseeable future then you will be justified to call for his resignation. Or else, ask yourself whether your madeya can win if we vote tomorrow. Bwanji mwalephera mma bye election? Mudali kuti ngati muli ndi nzeru zovotera? Tidzaonana 2019, musadzayambenso kulira ngati chickens! Check it out!

  55. kamale says:

    Journalists are not angels that they don’t make mistakes. And mostly when you write the false stories, you don’t come back to correct them. Ndatsala ndi ineso ndikukalipireni atola nkhani osadziwa Ntchito.

  56. levelheaded says:

    Khanje is saying don’t suffocate the Media, an oxygen for democracy. The same the media should not suffocate the government which is an engine for development of the whole country. Media houses in Malawi should be responsive as well. Governments are elected by people while media houses are there to generate profits at the expense of serving people but we don’t elect you. Like any democratic country we need you the media, but we edge you to investigate well before reporting. Expect to be corrected and even sued if your reporting is hurting somebody. Koma akhanje mukuwoneka bwanji masiku ano. Eish! Koma dzikoli abale masiku omwewa koma kuwawanyika chomchi.

  57. chigumula says:

    This president is sick in the Head. He needs a brain scan. you are taking Malawians for granted. We will not allow you to ransack the country the way your brother did with the help of his mafia Indian friends and the Mulli.

    your time is up. Dont be a frenzy idiot addressing the nation in an emotionally charged manner. We dont fear you. We will not stop commenting as long as you continue ruling this country as a kindergarten school.

    My friend Jessie Kabwila, where are you? i want to go to the streets carrying a placard saying ” ACHOKE PETER WALEPHERA’.

    Dont justify your stupid act of hiring planes. If your grandfather was raping people are you going to tell us that it is a norm in the society just because your grandfather did it too! What a dunderhead of a president!

    God save us from this lame excuse of a president!

  58. Baba wa Boyi says:

    Everyone is a wise guy in Malawi, and yet still poor.

  59. chaponda says:

    Alindichibwana just say we have used x amount of money from tax payer not am a millionaire what for izitu sitilora avoola mwatani my bezbs anakukanani ntchito

  60. The only Democrat Left says:

    Thank you MISA the Dictatorial behaviour of Mutharika needs to be challenged for if it is not this maniac will be worse then the dead brother Bingu who became the false Ngawzi. Mutharika’s excesses in chartering aircrafts, huge presidential convoys, state residences and refusal to bring back the billions that Bingu and he stole is what is bankrupting Malawi not Civil Servants salaries.

  61. cheyo the real northerner says:

    Is a 50 50 game. While the president was wrong to be emotional over a national issue, the media should also all the time refrain from giving us half baked news. We Malawians are not interested in hearing news which lacks substance.

  62. Clement says:

    Iwe Khanje, ndiwenso chitsiru zedi. President akuti atolankhani anzakowo azifufuza bwinobwino asanalembe za bodza ndiye iweyo ukuti fwifwifwi chiyani? Jacket ngati waveka mtengo.

  63. myao says:

    Read SITICHEDWA KUYIWALA by Melifa Yao, already flying out.

  64. mtumbuka selfish dog says:

    You Malawian journalists you stupid! Gospel kazako akulimbana ndi hiring of jet iye amakwera kabanza popita Ku office? If I were a president i would have arrested some of you dull Malawian journos, zitsiru za anthu!!!

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