A high level feud has appeared in President Peter Mutharika’s 20 member cabinet as one of the cash-rich ministers is accused of paying money to reporters to write negative stories against others.
A source in the cabinet said a cash-rich cabinet minister deposited K1 million into a journalist’s bank account. “He deposited the money into a reporter’s account so that he shares it with other reporters, a syndicate that is targetting some cabinet ministers whom they want out of the cabinet.
“If you read newspapers and listen to radios, there is relentless war against some cabinet ministers. The aim is that they catch the eye or ear of the President and he makes a decision to fire them,” said our source.
Civic Education, Culture and Community Development minister Patricia Kaliati said she had not heard of the issue.
“But if it is true, then it is bad. Namisa and other media bodies should take up the issue to discipline the reporters,” she said.
She said it is unpalatable that in this era, reporters should be used as a tool to bring down rivals in politics.
“The media should be used as the key tool in civic education on crucial matters affecting the nation. The journalists are watch dogs, they are marketers for our nation, they have the power to market Malawi abroad. They have the power to make known to people government policies. We depend on the media to take government policies to the grass root,” she said.
Kaliati then called on media houses to pay their journalists well.
She said sometimes journalists are trapped in the corruption because of need for money as some media houses still pay meagre salaries to their employees, most of whom are journalists.