Union feels Mutharika took advantage of poorly paid Malawi journos

The Journalist Union of Malawi (JUMA) has insinuated that Malawi President Peter Mutharika may have taken advantage of poor salaries many Malawian journalists receive in the various media houses to attempt to bride them with K50,000 for fair coverage.

President Mutharika: His cash hand-out seemed to have unsettled some of the guests on ethical grounds

President Mutharika: His cash hand-out seemed to have unsettled some of the guests on ethical grounds

Mutharika is on record of dishing out K50, 000 to over 80 journalists he invited for dinner at his Sanjika state house last Tuesday. The money was contained in browns envelopes which state house press officers said they contained president’s plan for the media.

An editor at the  Weekend Nation newspapers George Kasakula was the only person who returned the money immediately after suspecting foul play while other senior journalists carried the monies home and later donated to charity organizations.

But all junior journalists spent the money patriotically without asking any questions on the motive.

JUMA secretary Charles Nkula says the Union has taken this development as an opportunity to raise some pertinent matters concerning the upkeep and welfare of journalists.

“Studies have shown that some journalists survive on allowances pocketed at different functions as their employers fail to meet their basic needs. At JUMA, we are aware that some media houses can afford to pay their journalists as low as MK20, 000 [per month] when the cost of living is far above MK100, 000 per month],” says Nkula.

He said media owners fail to appreciate the bulk of intangible resources such intellectual and social capital that journalists contribute to the media market or to the value of a business.

“We understand that due to varying constraints and low capacity, some media houses cannot afford to provide their workers with the necessary resources such as transport, accommodation and upkeep allowances to cover stories outside their operating base hence the compromise to allow news sources to cover these costs on their behalf.”

Nkula says in the interest of professionalism and maintenance of high ethical standards, the Union is strongly appealing to media owners and managers to consider reviewing the working conditions of journalists.

“We also ask them to improve on the welfare of their workers and families if the profession is not to be thrown into disrepute.”

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24 thoughts on “Union feels Mutharika took advantage of poorly paid Malawi journos”

  1. ngati ali katangale kodi ZAKUDYA ADADYAZO SIKATANGALE out of 80 ndi angati omwe sadadye? SIYANI UTOLANKHANIWU YAMBANI NDALE BAX

  2. Matokoso says:

    Quote, “An editor at the Weekend Nation newspapers George Kasukula was the only person who returned the money immediately after suspecting foul play while other senior journalists carried the monies home and later donated to charity organizations.

    But all junior journalists spent the money patriotically without asking any questions on the motive”.

    This article is just an attempt to elevate some people; save the so called senior journalists from embarrassment and demonize junior journalists. Zisankho zomwezi?

  3. Baby wa a mummie says:

    So even if i invite the journalists to my house for dinner and give them money afterwards that will be bribe?? Malawians lets learn to look at events from all dimensions….

  4. Tione says:

    Journalists, thank God that i had resigned from my previous employer. I would have retrieved a document where these branded senior journalist pocketed allowances and signed. The reasons is if you do not give them allowances they do not attend the workshop, symposiums etc. If two institutions organisations are organising different event on the same day. They compare the allowance, if one organisation is giving more than the other, they go for an events that that is paying more.

    At first we were not giving them allowances, the turn out was very low.

  5. Hebrews says:

    Some of you received money from our institution! K20,000 apart from picking you and droping you at your place and we have so many Journalists who have received such hand outs before and I have the signatures where they signed because our Institution does not give money without signing for it. So if these have been bribes, return the money!

  6. Fathara says:

    KODI NDIFUSE NAWO. KODI NANGA ANTOLA NKHANI ENA NDI ENA AMENE ANACHOKA MUTALI MUTALI, AMENE ANAGWILISA NTCHITO NDALAMA ZAWO KUGULA FUEL POPITA KU SANJIKA, KUGULA MALO OGONA NDI CHAKUDYA. NDIYE KUTI SAKUYENELA KUBWEZELEDWA NDALAMA ZAWO?? NDIYE KUTI ANTHU AMENE AMAPITA KUMALO NDI KUPASIDWA NDALAMA ZAPOGONA NDI CHAKUDYA AJA, NDIYE KUTI AMENE AMAPASA AJA AMALAKWISA??? CHONDE A MALAWI TANDIYAKHANI SINDIKUNVESA BWINO BWINO, SINANGA SCHOOL SINDINAPITE NAYO PATALI, NDIYE MWINA INU OPHUZILA INU AMENE MUKUTI NDIZOLAKWIKANU MUNGATHE KUNDI LONGOSOLELA BWINO BWINO CHONDE, INE MALAWI ZANU WAKU MUZI.

  7. me says:

    midnight six nice.
    after for the prize stays president of republic of malawi.
    malawi is nice.
    justice dont work there so need to live like that for more 4 years

  8. bombsday says:

    Journalist Union of Malawi(JUMA) releases a press statement on the so-called ”bribe” money from the President and then the very same statement attracts contradictory headlines from different media outlets.

    While Nyasa Times editorial desk feels that JUMA is of the view that the President ”bribed” the journos by taking advantage of their poverty,Maravi post is of the view that JUMA was actually commending the President for demonstrating a good gesture to the journos who-if truth be told-survive on such allowances since most of them get pittances for salaries.

    My take is that we have got a perception problem here.Look,has anyone wondered why it was only two ”ethical” journos who raised alarms out of over eighty of them who attended the Sanjika dinner?.The fact is that the rest did not even think that they were ”bribed” because it is a norm for them to get some allowances from such events.Actually,they would feel like the dinner was just a waste of time if they didn’t get any allowances from the President.Trust me,for most of them this was just another successful media interface.

    I am puzzled that some journos would like to create a storm in a tea-kettle when all along that has been the trend.Journos have received allowances(or is it cash handouts) from politicians since one can remember and if the President has committed an offence here,then let us bundle all our politicians and all the journos in this country and throw them in jail since none of them is free from this ”crime”.C’mon folks,let us not be hypocrites.

    And did someone expect the Information Minister to stand up and say something like ”Listen up folks,we have got these envelopes here stuffed with cash,so those who are interested can come forward and get him/herself an envelope”,c’mon,is that what Raphael Tenthani was really expecting?.Obviously,that would be awkward because it would compromise the security of those journos,if you get my drift.

    The President did not attempt to bribe any journos and people should not make a fuss out of nothing.If it is politics,then it is bad politics and it will not succeed.

    1. bombsday says:

      CORRECTION
      …come forward and get themselves an envelope [last but not least paragraph]

    2. Sec-specialist says:

      So you are saying just because they have been doing something wrong all over the place then we dont need to criticise it? Just imagine how often the journos go to town each time they deem some one has not behave the way they should. I hate people who, by virtue of their positions or status or employment, think that they are above reproach. Jornos are one such group of people. Shame on you.

  9. JUMA FIND OTHER WORDS A PART FROM WHAT YOU HAVE WRITTEN, DO NOT MAKE SOMEBODY HAPPY, NO!!!! THE TRUTH MUST BE THERE, DO NOT PROMOTE CASHGATES,CORRUPTION,FRAUD,MALPRACTICE,EMBEZZMENT OF MONEY, ABUSING OF ACCOUNTS AND CASH,SIPHONING CASH AND OTHER DIRTY GAMES IN TEARMS OF CASH HANDLING.MALAWI HAS BE CHARGED AND HAVE FRESH MALAWI.

  10. Kanyimbi says:

    Musaiwale za Peter Fote. Atolankhani amaishosha akawona kuti sakususa nawo.

  11. Uchindami says:

    bride?

  12. Sikusinja ndi Gwenembe says:

    Dont be foolish and insult our intelligence. These were not just mere junior journalists. The Raphel Tenthanis, Gracian Tukulas, Alaudin Osman, Thom Khanje, Bamusi , these were senior highly paid journalists that were given the K50,000 envelopes. Iwe Charles Nkula, give us a list of the journalists who went to Sanjika and tell me if there is anyone who makes less than K100,000 a month on that list.
    You are just trying to advance your own agenda and justify corruption. Even Journalists like Tenthan saying they think it was well meaning. Isnt this the same thing JB said that wina akaba wolandira zakubayo siwolakwa. Do you guys even know where the K50,000 came from. Maybe it came from NAC as well. Question is, how come George Kasakula smelled something fishy and returned the money there and then? The rest of you just found yachakumwa and drunk it away. George Kasakula should teach you guys a lesson or two about not compromising your ethics and morals no matter where you are. Donating money after public outcry just shows how morally corrupt you guys are because nowhere in the world are you supposed to be paid after having dinner.
    Infact in a normal setting the president was supposed to ask you journalists to donate to a good cause at that function.

  13. Chilungamo says:

    Boma ilo, Yoliyoliyoliyoli!!!!!!!!!! Munaligulitsa kwa eni ake a Cash gate. Simunati, we have 4 more years of this. angoyamba. Ndye akweni sanayambe yawo ija. Muifila zenizeni a malawi.

  14. mbuzi says:

    JUMA is another grouping that is failing to run its own affairs. There is too much infighting and it does not fight for the welfare of its members. its another toothless body. JUMA should strive to enhance the professionalism of some of its members so that they become marketable thereby attracting decent salaries. You cannot have bar girls, cops, farmers and vendors masquerading as Journalists. my foot!!!. This only happens in Malawi.

  15. Patriot says:

    It has been revealed that initialy it was K150,000. Koma ena konko ku Sanjikako awomba K100,000 yinayo kikikki.
    My big up to George Kasakula of Nation, and Tenthani and journos of Times Tv group.
    Enanu achina Zodiak, Star Fm, MBC radio/tv, Galaxy, Matindi Fm, Joy Radio, MIJ etc etc, WHAT A SHAME. Mwadya ndalamazo? You are a DISGRACE to the media fraternity.

  16. Nachipanti says:

    JUMA should not justify this to welfare. You should understand the meaning of Bribe. The president’s intent was to bribe Malawi Journalists for his own benefit. Other journals have preserved their integrity by refusing to be bribed whilst others with shallow thinking have eaten the bribe money. My question is, “Where is their Integrity?” Each profession has got ethics and I wonder whether Ethics in Journalist allows bribery.

    Think of what that MK50,000 would do to a Primary school teacher who is helping to build future Malawi, glooming them to be leaders. Think of what that money will do to a Health Centre somewhere which is serving non-salary earning households. Inu mukukamba za welfare yet at least you get salaries.

    Lero ndi izi tikumva kuti APM approved MK12m yet MK4m was dished out to Journalists. What happened to the remaining MK8m.

    Muisova!!

  17. Franco Lameck says:

    Mr Ibu koma osapuma bwanji.

  18. Tan'gatan'ga says:

    The money was definitely a bribe. What a presidential media vision !!!!

  19. Atcheya says:

    Hahhhhhh…..Junior journos spending the money ‘patriotically’!!! My foot!
    By the way, low salaries are never a justification for corruption: it’s just as simple as ABC….Corruption has no justification…whether you spend the proceeds ‘patriotically’ or ‘treasonously’

  20. mabedi says:

    Shurrup you ethically- challenged hounalists! Ig u are poorly paid quit the profession and choose another career like a tailor or a vendor! Dont come here yavi-yavi when u know it is standard practice that journos DEMAND monies before attending ANY function but now they say the 50K was a bribe!?!! Jesus wept!! What do u take us for u dumb journos-fools???! Het the hell out of our faces you lying hypocritical desendants of Jezebels! May you all burn in HELL!””

    1. Nyapapi says:

      So you agree with him then! This is the only plain truth that has been said by any journalist since this debacle started.

      If the journos were to repay all “bribe” monies received from politicians they would all commit suicide!

      1. dingiswayo says:

        true my brother- if Tenthani knew it was a bribe he would have left it on the table but noooo he was thinking about ngongole at drinking joints at Kamba. we are not stupid Tenthani- we know the truth. tell other ignorant fools but not us. ALL JOURNOS TAKE MONEY FOR ALL PRESS RELATED FUNCTIONS- ALL FUNCTIONS, GEDAMMIT ZAKO IWE TENTHANI

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