US, MISA-Malawi for deeper reporting on financial crimes, corruption

The United States  Government and the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA – Malawi Chapter) on Friday challenged journalists in the country to come up with investigative reports on financial crimes and corruption.

Palmer (r) Good investigative reporting crucial to democracy. On the left is Sundu, MISA-Malawi Vice Chairperson  Pic. Courtesy of U.S. Embasy in Malawi

Palmer (r) Good investigative reporting crucial to democracy. On the left is Sundu, MISA-Malawi Vice Chairperson Pic. Courtesy of U.S. Embasy in Malawi

Blantyre Newspapers Ltd's Josephine Chinele shows off her Investigative Journalism certificate flanked by Palmer (r) and Sundu (l)  Pic. Courtesy of US Embassy in Malawi

Blantyre Newspapers Ltd’s Josephine Chinele shows off her Investigative Journalism certificate flanked by Palmer (r) and Sundu (l) Pic. Courtesy of US Embassy in Malawi

US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, and MISA – Malawi Vice Chairperson, Yvonne Sundu, made the call at the American Embassy in Lilongwe at the close of five-day Investigative Journalism training the two bodies organized for about 12  journalists drawn from various media institutions.

The training, facilitated by renowned American investigative journalist, Lucinda Fleeson, was aimed at honing the journalists in reporting financial management issues in the country especially in the wake of cash-gate and the subsequent public sector and financial management reforms government instituted.

Palmer said although it was challenging, time-consuming and sometimes dangerous, good investigative reporting – especially related to financial crimes and corruption – was so vitally important in a democratic nation, be it the U.S. or Malawi.

She described the current reforms Malawi Government is instituting as crucial for the country and that the journalists’ continued close attention to the progress would help keep the reforms on track.

“…It is very important to tell a story of how financial crimes and corruption deprive ordinary citizens of the basic services they deserve,” said Palmer, adding, “I have said publicly on various occasions that Malawians should stand up and speak out about what the Public Sector Reforms  and Public Financial Management Reforms mean to them, personally.

“For example, what happens to them when clinic officials fail to show up to work on time, or life-saving drugs are stolen from government pharmacies?”

The U.S Ambassador said through good investigative reporting, journalists’ work could magnify the stories and impact on needed changes.

In her remarks, the MISA-Malawi Vice Chairperson concurred with Palmer in stressing the need for thorough reporting in financial crimes and corruption.

Sundu challenged the graduating journalists to prove to the public what they were now capable of doing after the five-day training with the celebrated American investigative journalist, Lucinda Fleeson.

“As change starts with taking the right step in the right direction; that can surely start with us,” said Sundu. “It is our duty and responsibility to initiate that positive step and expose malpractices that limit our ability to move forward as a country.”

The MISA Malawi Vice Chairperson also announced that the institution had partnered with the Centre for Investigative Journalism based in Mzuzu to award excellent investigative journalists during the 2016 Annual MISA Awards.

Sundu said her institution was looking forward to seeing the graduating journalists produce quality investigative stories that would scoop various prizes during this year’s MISA-Malawi’ AGM.

Over the years, the U.S. Embassy in Malawi has sponsored most media activities such as the World Press Freedom Day celebrations and MISA-Malawi Annual General Meetings.

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5 thoughts on “US, MISA-Malawi for deeper reporting on financial crimes, corruption”

  1. Mtunda wosema says:

    Palmer Virginia has started it now started her plot against the government. Please Dausi deal with this thing as what the Taifa did to the British pilot.

  2. Almost Pano says:

    Matraining a mtundu uwu anayamba kale, There is nothing new.Things seem to look new because the training has been sponsored by the Americans and they like to blow their own trumpets for public relations purposes. If our media didn’t know how to do investigative journalism we could not have known about the cash-gate.. Timatraining ngati timenti majournalists a ku Kenya amatikana . Pena pake kumaona kuti kodi chachilendo checjeni cheni ndi chiti- this has just been a waste of resources, there are other areas of journalism that the MISA Malawi and the American Gvernment could have considered sponsoring, like health reporting or environmental reporting – these are current challenges that Malawi is facing, osati investigative journalism. Ngati sadziwa investigative ireporting who invented the word cash-gate or how did this word become so popular in Malawi and world -over? it is all because of one journalist who carried out a through investigation and reported the plunder of billions of our money at Capital Hill. Let;s be honest, Americans simply wanted to earn a credit for organising this useless course and in fact there was no need for them to invite their someone from America called to facilitate the training. Malawians themselves are capable and could have handled this training themselves very competently. Nation Publications or Blantyre Print have seasoned and well trained journalists that could have done it better than Lucinda. Americans wanted their money to return to America and also remain in books that Palmer during her tenure as Ambassador in Malawi initiated this so called useless investigative journalism training- za ziii. Next time MISA please negotiate for a more serious course for the journalists, otherwise you will be rendered irrelevant.

  3. chimboro says:

    Most corrupt institutions in Malawi are councils.There is a lot off corruption at the DCs office.Where in the world where you can get 25% as administration money for any project? All projects awarded at the DCs office are full of friends and achibale.

  4. Good thing indeed says:

    Thanks America ! In the past our journalist only knew how to report political campaigns and witchcraft stories. whilst it is true that politics dominate our daily conversation there has been little benefit flowing back to people from such stories. Such journalism promoted idiots to get into higher offices based on regional demographics. Witchcraft stories just ended up painting our country as a primitive country with primitive society. Thanks to such initiatives we are seeing an improvement now.

    Reporting of financial crimes is the surest way to curb corruption in this country as we can perhaps all agree that shaming the devil in the press is the best punishment in absence of efficient and effective judicial process in our country. Anti Corruption Bureau has lost people trust because it appears to be manipulated by the ruling party. It is almost impossible that a suspect from a ruling party is arrested.

  5. Namame says:

    busy training people to write good English instead of facilitating the deployment and training of watchdogs in the departments. kuganiza mobwelera uko.A watchdog would be there to be in charge of the systems_Enawa awa azibwera kudzalemba chingelezi basi.

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