President Peter Mutharika’s State House has found itself frustrated after its efforts to have Malawian writer Stanley Onjezani Kenani fired from the UN failed.
In the past week, State House embarked on a smear campaign against Kenani using its blogs, malawiindependent.blogspot.com
, malawibrief.com, malawivoice.com and blantyrepost.com.
The blogs posted cooked-up stories indicating that Kenani’s bosses in Geneva are angry with him and want to have him fired for leaking Malawi’s state secrets.
The stories further alleged that Kenani’s bosses had summoned him to a disciplinary hearing.
Nyasa Times investigations revealed that Kenani did not leak any Malawian secrets and is not even based in Geneva. The UN office in Geneva said there was no disciplinary hearing involving Kenani.
When Nyasa Times contacted Kenani, he declined to comment.
However, sources at State House who did not want to be named said Mutharika’s agents have been closely monitoring Kenani’s Facebook page and are not happy because they think he is critical of government.
But three of Kenani’s pals Nyasa Times spoke to said his comments are always constructive. They expressed surprise that the government took issue with his criticism to the extent of wanting him fired by the UN.
Commenting on the story, journalist Idriss Ali Nassah wondered why State House did not even bother to do its research when creating the lies about Kenani.
Nassah wrote on his Facebook page: “If you’re going to peddle something, please try to make it believable.”
Lawyer and activist, Allan Ntata, commenting on Kenani’s Facebook page, called it “desperation” by Mutharika’s government.
Also commenting on the story on Kenani’s Facebook page, activist Ben Chiza Mkandawire said: “They have run out of ideas. They have failed to govern, so they just shoot recklessly. In Malawi, smear campaigns are run to distract people from government failures.”
Kenani is not the only one targeted by Mutharika’s State House. Last week, the same blogs attacked celebrated Times TV host, Brian Banda, for his hard-hitting programmes.
Mutharika is preparing for 2019 by silencing all voices that seem to be critical of his government. Sources say such attacks, including the creation of fake Whatsapp conversations and other dirty tactics, will intensify as Malawi moves towards elections.
Others being targeted are editors of Nyasa Times, activists Ben Chiza Mkandawire, Allan Ntata, Times Group Editor in Chief George Kasakula, columnist Madalitso Musa, journalist Idriss Ali Nassah and many others.
DPP has a history of abductions and killings.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :