Malawian president Peter Mutharika has picked Malawi News editor Frederick Ndala and MBC ( broadcaster ) Mzuzu Bureau Chief Timpuza Mwansambo as Press Secretary and Deputy Press Secretary respectively, State House has confirmed.
State House press officer Justice Mponda confirmed to Nyasa Times the appointments.
As press secretary, Ndala will also take up the role of presidential spokesperson previously held by Steve Nhlane under former president Joyce Banda and politician Dr. Heatherwick Ntaba, under late president Bingu wa Mutharika.
“The appointments are with immediate effect,” Mponda said.
This means that the State House press office will now be manned by five people. These include Justice Mponda, Chikondi Juma former reporter for Times TV and Sylvester Namiwa former reporter Galaxy FM.
The positions were formerly occupied by Faless Ngalawuka, Tusekele Mwanyongo and Brian Banda whose duties were automatically relinquished following the loss of then ruling People’s Party in the May 20 elections.
The country’s media fraternity expect Ndala will bring sanity into the president’s office because of his level headedness.
Ndala has a challenge to create space for journalists to work in an environment where they are not intimidated or harassed and end the culture of ‘press rallies’ for the presidency.
Journalists are always coy to ask critical questions to the Head of State in the presence of zealots.
The new press secretary, his deputy and a band of press officers are urged to bring sanity into the president’s office in the way they conduct the presidential news conference.