President Peter Mutharika has sent a goodwill message to journalists across Malawi as they commemorate World Press Freedom Day on May 3, warning them against abusing their freedom of expression but says his government is committed to deepening media freedom and diversity.
In a statement released on the occasion, the President said he appreciated the role played by the media in a democracy and the importance of a vibrant media is a catalyst for national building and development.
“As a true democrat, I know that for our hard-won democracy to thrive, and for Malawians to develop further meaningfully, the country needs a vibrant, professional, accountable and responsible media,” says the President in his statement made available to Nyasa Times.
The Malawi leader has also given assurances that during his tenure of office, the will ensure that freedom of the press is guaranteed and granted at all times.
“I assure all Malawians that during my administration, I shall ensure that the constitutional rights to free press, and freedom of expression are protected at all times. I however advise that these freedoms are not abused.”
He added that irresponsible media practices are destructive to a society.
“As we commemorate this important day, let me remind all Malawians that irresponsible media practice is both destructive and counter-productive to national progress,” says Mutharika.
He has since warned all Malawians to jealously guard the country’s hard-won rights and freedoms.
“It is our collective national responsibility to guard our hard-won press freedom against agents of dictatorship bent on frustrating our priceless democracy by abusing press freedom,” Mutharika advises.
Mutharika recently assented to the Access to Information-ATI Bill fulfilling one of his campaign manifestos, granting freedom to access important information without much hurdles.
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