One of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) propaganda newspaper, The Eye Witness, has stopped production until further notice sending staff on unpaid leave.
The paper which is owned by deputy minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Kondwani Nankhumwa will be closed from April 2012 until further notice and management says production may resume if new printing press is acquired.
But Nankhumwa in an email to Nyasa Times said the paper will not shut down completely.
The Eye Witnesshas been writing false stories about people deemed critical of President Bingu wa Mutharika. Vice President Joyce Banda has been a frequent victim of the paper. Bishop Joseph Zuza of the Catholic Church was also a victim for his sermon he delivered which was seen to be attacking Mutharika as the most foolish person because he thinks he knows the best.
The paper cooked up a story that the bishop had a girlfriend from Mzuzu Government Secondary School but the Catholic Church cleared the bishop after investigations which revealed that the girl never existed.
One of the casualties is a reporter Watipaso Mzungu who was poached by Nankhumwa from another DPP propaganda title, Sky News, which is owned by the “smuggler” DPP regional governor for the South, Noel Masangwi.
Barely three months after Nankhumwa poached Mzungu, the newspaper closed shop sending the reporter jobless. Mzungu secured a job at Sky News after being declared redundant at Blantyre Newspapers Limited, the publishers of Daily Times and various weekly titles.
Nankhumwa accused Mzungu of publicising the closure of the paper, saying it “is entirely false just aimed at confusing our valued readers and advertisers.”
He confirmed that Mzungu has has been fired “due to gross indscipline.”
“ The end result is that he is posting this on online media like Namisa forum that we have closed,” Nankhumwa told Nyasa Times
The closure of Eye Witness follows another closure of The Guardian, another DPP propaganda paper that belonged to Mutharika’s daughter, Duwa.
The Guardian was closed and sent its employees unpaid. Some of the employees have been absorbed into the President’s new radio, Galaxy but remains two months unpaid their salaries.
Sources said Duwa led to the closure of the paper because of her stylish and extravagant life. She is said to have been visiting Zambia and some countries frequently and leeding an opulent life using
money from the newspaper.