President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has appointed seasoned media practitioner and public relations specialist, Anthony Kasunda, as the Acting Presidential Press Secretary.
Kasunda’s appointment, according to a statement from the State House, is with immediate effect.
He takes up the position of Brian Banda, albeit in acting capacity, who is on sabbatical leave.
The former Times Television programme host is pursuing further studies in China.
However, his departure from the State House raised eyebrows, with some people suspecting that he might have been relieved of his duties because of misconduct.
Nyasa Times disclosed in one of its publications that Kasunda was earmarked to take over from Banda in acting arrangement.
At one of the bi-weekly media briefings, State House Director of Communications, Sean Kampondeni, dismissed fears that its Press Office could suffer a gap following Banda’s leaving.
Kampondeni said the governance framework was so vast; hence, there would be no deficiency in the provision of information.
He said the Press Office was not an individual, but an institution, which he said would be functional even as the Press Secretary takes leave.
“We have the Ministry of Information that is a government mouthpiece and all of the ministries across Capital Hill, with a few exceptions; have Public Relations Officers that furnish the public with information. The departure of one person doesn’t mean that that institution is left with a gap. The government is more robust than that,” he said.
He said the government has more than one mouthpiece and Banda’s leave should not be a cause for concern, emphasizing that it is the President’s responsibility to make sure that institutions such as the Press Office continue to function even in the absence of an individual.
He cited the one-week absence of President Chakwera to the Global Education Summit in London, United Kingdom as one of such which didn’t see the presidency stopping functioning.
“The Presidency continues even in the absence of a member of the presidency. So this is how governance institutions work which is why the president is taking immediate measures to ensure that the role of the press secretary is not left vacant,” he said.
Since the departure of Brian Banda, Kampondeni has been carrying out the duties of the Presidential Press Secretary.
There have been speculations about Banda’s scholarship with some media houses, saying he has been fired for gross misconduct and worsening President Chakwera’s public relations crisis.
Kasunda could not be reached for a comment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :