The Media Council of Malawi have asked state security to provide maximum safety and security to the media who are set to capture the “missing” President Peter Mutharika as he returns from United States following a whirlwind of rumours on his health and that they should be given an opportunity to quiz the Head of State.
There is great anticipation of Mutharika’s arrival on Sunday but indications show that the media will be barred from the welcoming party.
Media council executive director, Vales Machila, said in a statement that the past two weeks the general public, fueled by the media, expressed concern on information blackout regarding the State President’s prolonged stay in the United States where he went to attend the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
Machila says some of those that expressed concern or spoke on the matter argued that the extra costs government was incurring to maintain the President’s continued stay in the United States would hurt more the already fragile economy.
He said rumours were also rife in the social media and in other forums that the President was probably feeling unwell, hence the information blackout.
“While this is welcome news to all Malawians, the Media Council of Malawi would like to appeal to the police and those arranging the program for the President’s arrival and welcome at the airport to ensure that the media is given adequate protection at the airport.
“It is obvious that some of the stories carried by the media may not have been pleasing to some sections of the general public, who may want to get even against those concerned. The airport, during the state president’s arrival, provides such opportunity for the aggrieved zealots of course, immediately he alights from the aircraft, we expect the President to make brief statement to the nation about his visit,” the council said.
Machila has since asked the those arranging the president arrival to give chance to the media to ask questions.
“However we would expect, as has been the case in previous foreign visits, for the president to meet the press and answer their questions in an enclosed room away from party zealots,” said Machila .