Viola at it again: Angers President Mutharika over barring Zodiak

The decision to omit and bar journalists from privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) from attending President Peter Mutharika’s news conference at Kamuzu Palace was unanimously made by embattled Press Secretary Gerald Viola and his errand boy Sylvester Namiwa without the knowledge of the First Citizen, Nyasa Times has learnt.

Viola:   Barred Zodiak

Viola: Barred Zodiak

Viola, who has lost grace in the eyes of the President for his poor performance, dictated to his junior Namiwa names of media houses and journalists he wanted at the news briefing.

Under his boss’s order, Namiwa dispatched invitations while deliberately leaving out Zodiak due to bad memories from the previous presser.

Four months ago when President Mutharika held a news briefing at the same venue on his return from the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Viola bashed Zodiak journalist Theresa Ndanga and nearly denied her the microphone during question time. It was persistence that saw the female reporter grabbing the microphone to ask her questions.

Viola also attacked Zodiak alleging misconduct by the station during the July 20 2011 demonstrations and the death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, the following year.

This time around when the Zodiak team arrived at the palace’s outer gate they found their names missing on the list and efforts to get clearance from inside proved futile as Viola and Namiwa refused to attend to the issue after being contacted by security personnel.

ZBS managing director Gospel Kazako said the media house, which runs a radio and television station, was not even invited to the news conference.

The behaviour by the two press officers has not amused both the President and Chief Secretary to government George Mkondiwa.

Both have separately reprimanded Viola and Namiwa for their unprofessional conduct which has reflected badly on the Presidency and State House alike.

Sources at State House say the President is embarrassed with what his press officers did because it does not tally with his philosophy for a free and professional media industry in a democratic community.

The future of Viola at the palace hangs in balance.

Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango said Mutharika’s administration is “committed to working with all media houses.”

Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi chapter president Thom Khanje called the incident as “ very unfortunate and unacceptable.”

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59 thoughts on “Viola at it again: Angers President Mutharika over barring Zodiak”

  1. zenzene says:

    Leave the Moyas alone, they actually don’t know what they doing.They are completely lost.

  2. bamusi says:

    Za Nyau Basi

  3. Gabriel Phiri says:

    What is needed at State house is a mature ver experienced communicator. The work there goes beyond basic to advanced journalism political awareness is a must.

  4. student. says:

    Potential replacements for viola: mzati mkolokosa, Henry chimbali, nations msowoya, innocent chitosi, sangwani mwafulira and mgeme kalirain why not choose any of these to help the state house

  5. Malawi says:

    They are some how BIAS these ZBS

  6. M'bujo says:

    Let us think critically. To work with politicians is not healthy. Somebody above might have mislead Viola to act in that way….he is suffering for somebody’s decision…….

  7. aaron Kaluwa says:

    Where did Viola got the courage to bar ZBS? I believe that there is more than what has been reported. Someone is using Viola so do not entirely blame him but blame the system.

  8. Nyapala wamkulu says:

    ZANU zimenezo agalu inu !!!

  9. katakwe says:

    This is total nonsense. Give us a break on Viola. Why do you hate him too much? Gerald just leave APM and go back to Galaxy FM. We love you but you fought hard for people who don’t know to say” thank you”. Some have nothing good for you and this minister is doing great damage to you and Namiwa. I know that you were not available during the press conference and how could security team call you for clearance? Be objective in writing nyasatimes. Leave Gerald alone. Why not write about hunger, FAM election mess, Fisp mess, some guys dwindling Fisp contractors by collecting millions of Kwachas claiming they influenced APM and Chiyembekeza to give them contracts to supply fertilizer? You can’t prove gross corruption the aides to the President are involved in? You can’t write about the two most powerful people in Malawi running this country and making anyone in government fear them? Do you know of these things? Why waste time with one person? Can we develop this way?

  10. Viola that’s coming. More fire!! Even Magufuli would have sidelined the childish Zodiak. What kind of radio station could mock the death of a president (Bingu) the way zodaida zodiak did? And does ZBS know the difference between arrogance and investigative reporting?

  11. Munyane says:

    When Malawi is not performing well we blame the president but the actual people who are behind the messy go Scott free am talking of the likes of Viola.come think of it is it not an embarrassment to the president by deniying Zodiak access to information when the government is about to pass ATI bill.I rest my case .

  12. Kodi Penjani Phinjani ndi mtumbukaa kapena munthu?

  13. Ibrahim Kachere says:

    Ngati zikuvuta anthu ayenera kuzuzula ndiye osamaopsyeza ayi ndi ufulu mwatani kodi

  14. Steven &New generation says:

    Viola, why are you behaving like this in your own country or are you anti- DPP’s government? Mr Professor Sir, please fire this ‘goat’ he is not fit to work with state house unless you tell him to misbehave as he is doing. Don’t you know that Zodiac is radio station no.1 full of genuine journalists?

  15. John says:

    WHY IS VIOLA NOT GETTING THE BOOT? THE PRESIDENCY WILL CONTINUE BEING EMBARRASED. VIOLA IS A FAILURE AAND CANT LEARN FROM PAST MISTAKES. HE SUCCESSFULLY BLACKMAILED THE PRESIDENT THAT HE WILL REVEAL GOVT SECRETS IF HE GETS FIRED AND MUTHARIKA CHICKENED OUT. WHAT A SHAME!

    THE PROBLEM IS WITH THE APPOINTING AUTHORITY.

  16. kangandiwamba says:

    Why viola and namiwa are doing this misconduct? It might also a foul play being played at its best coz our First citizen,Himself is mandated to fire any of his officers if brings shame and gone mad.No room for Malawians to be cheated now what we want is total freedom of expression by our own Media houses,They rank to fourth estate constitutionally so please spare them to exercise their right.

  17. Chintemwende says:

    Nde amakatani pa state house outer gate, yet their boss knew that they were not invited.

  18. Meja says:

    A Viola ng’oma yolilitsa sichedwa kung’ambika

  19. Hagar the Horrible says:

    Antende gudu boyi. This is our problem in Malawi, particularly those that work very closely with politicians. In our attempts to please our masters we end up causing more damage than good. Why can’t we just do our job professionally, particularly if we are not holding political positions?

  20. tz says:

    dyera mai

  21. Ngulu says:

    Kodi Nyasatimes Viola Yemweyu Munamuchotsa Ntchitoyu?

  22. Thindwa says:

    Fire Viola now now

  23. Bowoyeke Munthali says:

    Why barring ZBS Iwe Viola? Fire him

  24. Mpherembe says:

    Ntchito yamala uyu Achoke mbwenu

  25. Mukhalabweka Kamanga says:

    Get out you Viola you are misleading the President outtttttttttttt

  26. Munthali Ashford says:

    Achoke Viola you are busy sabotaging the State President

  27. Let Us Pray says:

    To be honest Zodiaki’s way of reporting is sometimes questionable. This Radio has a certain side where it leans most. Proofs are there.

  28. Dominic Msowoya says:

    Achoke Viola ife timakonda ZBS

  29. backbencher says:

    Don’t heap all the blame on Viola some laws are silent the president could not have not tell him literally or directly but behind the curtains he may have complained to de press officer on de conduct of zodiak and dis is de results!

  30. Balamanthu says:

    Msena Viola angomuchosa basi.Moreover he has shady qualifications.

  31. kingsley chiziko says:

    Idiot

  32. Namihavani says:

    Izi nde zinanso koma chinachina ZOdiak nanu mumaonjeza penapake July 20, mumachmelera ngati mpira , maliro a bingu munakabisala mu ma corridoe ku KCH asadane nanu pls improve on your ethics. Koma Viola uyu lero apite basi akuonjeza

  33. Yohane Mhoni says:

    Ada bwana Vuwa muwaphalire ada Bwana Mkubwa a President widu kuti uyu wamuchotse waka ntchito nimuvubwa

  34. Khumbo Kachale says:

    Prof. APM just fire the boy

  35. Mtonga says:

    Fire Viola please

  36. Mzomera Ngwira says:

    Uyu Viola mutu siugwira anakulakwira chani a ZBS ndipo ungochoka wekha munthu wosayamika Iwe

  37. Mukwapu wa Mukwapu Bolero says:

    I thought Viola is a Journalist? But now I know he is at State House to Delay Developments and Betray his Excellency APM, Why did you do this to Zodiak? A choke uyu pulizi achoke waka

  38. Inkosi Nkhonjera says:

    Why can’t the President just fire this Boy so called Viola?

  39. Mulakho Wa Mzimba says:

    Viola why do you always do this? Uli chindere

  40. Nankununkha sadzimva says:

    Kuno ndi kunja kuyanja lichero.

  41. Mesenjala Wongozionera Patali says:

    Ntchindere chakufikapo

  42. Mathanyux one toothed says:

    Zanu izo why just not dispose off the guy!

  43. Tengupenya says:

    para wananga nangiratu! a’ si nthena?

  44. levelheaded says:

    The more you report bad things about them the more they are favoured by the head of state.

  45. SONG says:

    DPP yimadana ndi kuti zimene akupanga anthu asamadziwe. Mukudziwa chifukwa chake ndi anthu akuba zedi they think they will be in power for ever, forget it we will arrest every dirty person that is one reason why turned down tabling of ATI Bill because you are thieves.

  46. Dwipwipwi ndi Bwampini

  47. Nkolimbo says:

    Oops! I thought the correct word was “unilaterally” and not “unanimously”. Someone’s got a hard running for his/her pay cheque.

  48. Moses Makoko says:

    DPP’s usual games! If indeed Viola has violated the plot number one orders, send him packing today! If that doesn’t happen, we will blve Ur trying to fool us. Monse wayambira kupala muja osamuchosa bwanji, kapenatu naye akusunga zinsinsi za umatha…..la!

  49. Ozitsata says:

    Hahahahahaha who is fooling who?

  50. mapwevupwevu says:

    Tamusiyeni Viola …
    Mulekeni adyelere!

  51. haward says:

    Mwayamba tsankho a Dpp, ok ok

  52. mtumbuka1 says:

    Don’t pull a wool over people’s eyes, your so called president and his cronies deliberately locked away these investigative journalists from that investigative radio station. Who is dpp trying to fool around with here? You won’t be forgiven by playing an innocent man peter.

  53. WAMISALA says:

    Umati Uwoneke dolo
    Kwa bwana ukupusaso
    Eeeeesh !!

  54. Thanduxolo says:

    Atumizeni ku Siberia akapondo amenewa ayidziwe Kamuzu Palace!

  55. Mwananjovu says:

    Kodi inu a Nyasatime bwanji mumalimbana ndi Viola. Amadya kunyumba kwanu? Musiyeni Viola adyelere ndi nthawi yake. Mukulimbana naye chifukwa chani.Mxiii

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