Eye Witness still alive, won’t shut down

One of Malawi’s propaganda newspapers for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), The Eye Witness has not closed shop  and defied that it will continue circulating, NyasaTimes has confirmed.

The paper was back on the Malawi city streets on Friday leading with an economics story, hailing late economist, Dr Kalonga Stambuli.

Its fired editor Watipaso Mzungu posted on  MISA-Malaw) moderated e-mail forum and designed exclusively for Malawian journalists that The Eye Witnesswould folding on 31st March, 2012.

Nankhuma: Won't shut down

The paper is owned by Malawi’s Deputy Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Minister Kondwani Nakhumwa.

Nakhumwa accused a fired journalist of  spreading the ‘false’ news.

“Mzungu was fired from The Eye Witness because of gross indiscipline. The end result is that he is posting on online media that like Namisa forum that we have closed,” said the junior minister who is also ruling DPP parliamentarian for Mulanje Central constituency in the mountainous tea growing district of Mulanje.

Watipaso, however, claimed that his dismissal was based on his posting on the e-mail forum. He argued that his colleagues within the sector reported him to the newspaper’s top brass following his posts and contributions about the paper on the forum.

“I strongly believe that there are spies on the forum who are passing on information to outsiders for their personal interests and benefits. This is very unfortunate because the forum is where journalists are supposed to share ideas and not spy on each other,” Watipaso  told Misa-Malawi.

He has however written an apology letter to Nankhumwa about his conduct, according to the paper.

In the last Friday edition, The Eye Witness heaped praise on the late Stambuli that he was one of the first few people to have openly declared that some of the economic policies by the World Bank and the International Momentary Fund were not helping many poor countries including Malawi.

The paper has a blown up picture of the late distinguished economist on its front page accompanying the story.

The story was aimed at relating to what the late Kalonga Stambuli said to what the present Malawi President Bingu Wa Mutharika says in condemning international donors including the World Bank and IMF for imposing economic conditions that may not help the local man in countries like Malawi.

At the moment, the IMF and the World Bank are at a deadlock with the Malawi Government on whether the Malawi currency should be devalued or not.

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