Nation newspaper fails to authenticate survey, says Malawi State House

State House has claimed that  Nation Publications Limited has failed to make public the call logs for a survey they run last week as demanded by Presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhlane to prove the authenticity of their survey.

Nhlane, a former editor at the Nation Publictaion, last week dismissed Nation on Sunday’s survey on President Joyce Banda’s maize distribution programme as fake and that it was meant to discredit the Head of State  in her noble work of feeding the foodless.

The last issue of Nation on Sunday newspaper claimed the majority of people who participated in the survey were against President Banda personally distributing maize to the two million food insecure Malawians.

But Nhlane asked the media house to produce call logs from which the media house drew its conclusions.

Nhlane: Discredit newspaper’s survey results

“They have failed to produce calls logs,” Nhlane told Nyasa Times.

“ Why should it take over seven days to produce the call logs from the mobile phone service provider,” he wondered.

“ If they want their surveys to be credible, the onus is on them to provide irrefutable evidence that their surveys are not fake. All they need to do is make public the call logs,” said Nhlane, a season journalist.

This week the newspaper has been running another survey on who people would vote for if elections were to be held today.

Nhlane said the survey is meant to promote opposition presidential hopefuls.

“Just like last week’s survey this one is also aimed at discrediting Her Excellency. Fortunately, the President is focused on fixing the ailing economy and improving the lives of Malawians and she will not be distracted by propaganda,” Nhlane said.

The Presidential Press Secretary urged Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority to closely monitor all future surveys, saying “it is clear some people are abusing the mobile phone voting facility for their own selfish agenda.”

Opinion polls can be a very useful tool in gauging public perception towards several things, including ascertaining voter preferences ahead of elections.

The newspaper says  it conducts face-to-face interviews for the survey . The poll also uses  the social networking platform Facebook and the short messaging service (SMS).

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