Govt to investigate arrest and detention of journalist Gregory Gondwe

Chief Government Spokesperson and Minister of Information and Digitalization, Gospel Kazako, has assured the media fraternity in Malawi that the government will investigate the circumstances that led to the arrest and detention of Platform for Investigative Journalism (PIJ) Managing Director Gregory Gondwe.

Police on Tuesday invaded PIJ’s office in Blantyre where they arrested Gondwe and confiscated his computers and phones in what they described as a normal crime-busting exercise.

The outgoing National Police publicist, James Kadadzera, confirmed the arrest, saying the investigative journalist was picked over a story published in relation to the huge sums of money Anti-Corruption Bureau paid to businessman Zuneth Sattar against the advice of the Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda.

Journalist Gregory Gondwe: Released

The police officers reportedly forced Gondwe to disclose the source of the document used in the story.

However, his arrest drew public outrage, with MISA Malawi and Media Council of Malawi demanding his immediate and unconditional release.

Chairperson of MISA Malawi Chapter, Teresa Ndanga, said its illegal to force journalists to reveal sources of their information is against the protection of legally privileged information and whistleblower protection provision of the Access to Information (ATI) Act.

And speaking to Nyasa Times shortly after Gondwe’s release, Kazako said the government was equally disturbed with the news about the journalist’s arrest and detention.

“I can assure you that this government does not subscribe to arbitrary arrests. I have been in touch with the Minister of Homeland Security to understand what happened. And I can assure you that this government is not bent on intimidating journalists as they carry out their noble profession of informing, education and entertaining Malawians,” said Kazako.

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