Center for Development of Peopleb (CEDEP), a local non-governmental organization which protects and defends human rights has registered its outright disappointment and displeasure with the conduct of the President Peter Mutharika , saying he is exhibiting poor leadership.
In a statement made available to to Nyasa Times, CEDEP said it is very disappointed with the statements made by the President that are tantamount to undemocratic attacks on the media.
Recently, Mutharika told a political rally that the lcoal media more especially The Daily Times newspaper and Zodiac Broadcasting Corporation reports on very senseless and useless matters.
This is coming against a background that the media more especially the two aforementioned media houses reported to the Malawi nation that the President was ill and was receiving medical treatment soon after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York.
“CEDEP finds such remarks very regrettable and misplaced in a democratic dispensation where freedom of expression is one of the cornerstones and people have the right to have access to information. During the campaign period, the President promised to protect and respect the media and promote freedom of expression for all. However, what the nation is witnessing now is the complete ant-thesis of what was pledged by the President and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in its manifesto,” reads part of the statement signed by CEDEP Executive Director Gift Trapence.
It adds:”The President needs to be reminded that Malawi is a signatory to different international protocols that protect freedom of the press. It is with such statements from the President that Malawi finds itself on unenviable 66th position on the press freedom index. What is even more disheartening is the fact that the DPP led government has been dilly-dallying and playing games with the Access to Information Bill.”
This, according to the statement, means the government does not want Malawians to have access to information and would do everything possible to hide public information including the sickness of the President.
“When the media does its work correctly of informing Malawians, the President thinks it is stupid. This is very disappointing attack coming from the president who is supposed to defend the very same fundamental ideas of our democracy let alone the constitution.not seen real commitment in the fight against corruption rather we have seen a protective government in perusing cases for those cronies who are close to the ruling government.
“CEDEP would like to see the President to walk the talk in making sure that tax payers money are used to the best interest of Malawians. Hence CEDEP is urging the President the review and reconsider the position of the ACB director so that we have an institution that is not working as a political party but rather an independent body that can be trusted on the basis of its professionalism,” reads the statement.