Zodiak’s Pilirani Phiri appointed PR for Malawi VP: Updated

Editor for private Zodiak Broadcasting Services, Pilirani Phiri, has been appointed press officer in the office of the vice president occupied by Saulos Chilima, Nyasa Times understands.

Pilirani Phiri (left) with President Peter Mutharika

Pilirani Phiri (left) with President Peter Mutharika

Office of President and Cabinet and Phirir himself confirmed  the appointment.

“Yes it is true I have resigned from Zodiak and I am prepared to continue serving my country with honest in a new capacity now as spokesperson for the Vice President,” Phiri told Nyasa Times.

Phiri, 33, holds a BSc in Mass Communication and has been in the media for 10 years, eight of those with Zodiak where he joined as a reporter on January 1, 2006.

He is one of the most decorated journalists in the country with over 10 awards, including the international John Manyarara Investigative Journalism award in 2007 after he infiltrated the prison system to expose corruption behind bars involving warders and senior prisoners.

Phiri won his first award in 2005 while with the defunct Chronicle Newspaper with a story that tracked assets of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika and from that year he has been winning awards almost every year.

“I know awards don’t necessarily translate into being a good journalist but I am happy that I have achieved so much in the 10 years I have been in the newsroom,” said Phiri who in 2012 was invited by the United States government to cover elections in that country.

His programme, Tiuzeni Zoona famed for scoop and hard hitting interviews, was twice awarded the Talk Show of the year.

“I have been running that programme for six years and I am happy it has been bridging the gap between the governors and the governed. I tried to get answers and also go beyond the mental ability of my interviewees. Above all I tried to give listeners timely interviews and subjects,” he said.

Unlike at State House where there are four Press Officers and Press Secretary Fredrick Ndala and his deputy Timpuza Mwansambo, Phiri will be the sole spokesperson in the Office of the Vice President.

Office of vice president under Khumbo Kachali had Kondwani Munthali as press officer but he was deployed to United Kingdom to serve at the Malawi High Commission.

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