Malawi government accuses London newspaper of lying about President Chakwera, demands apology, article retraction

The Malawi government has written a strongly-worded protest letter to the Editor-In-Chief for Times Newspapers Limited, and copied it to the Chief Executive Officer, Independent Press Standards Organisation in London, accusing the Times of London of publishing falsehoods against President Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera.

Director of Information Chikumbutso Mtumodzi has confirmed the authenticity of the letter whose copy Nyasa Times has. The letter has been signed by Minister of Information and Government Spokesperson, Gospel Kazako.

Chikumbutso Mtumodzi confirmed authenticity of the letter to The Times

“I can confirm the Minister has written the letter. The Times of London, in its Monday edition showed blatant disrespect for our Head of State and our sovereignty as a nation state,” said Mtumodzi in an interview on Wednesday in Lilongwe.

The letter Ref. No. INF/ADM/04/01, dated July 28, 2021 and is captioned “Retraction of an article titled ‘Malawi’s leader blames it on the broadband as he flies entourage to Britain for video summit’; The Times; Monday, July 26, 2021”.

Kazako says the Government of Malawi has written the letter following a Times article, “which insinuated that the State President of the Republic of Malawi, His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera had travelled to the United Kingdom to attend a virtual meeting due to poor internet connectivity in Malawi”.

According to the minister, the fact of the matter is that the Malawi President is attending the Global Education Summit financed by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) slated for July 28-29, 2021 upon the invitation by the Summit Co-chairs, Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.

Other leaders from other African countries such Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone are also attending the Summit together with Malawi’s President, according to Kazako.

“It is sad that The Times took the wrong avenue and published a fictitious story, sourcing information from Social Media, which is the epicentre of gossip and political slurs. (The) Malawi Government demands an apology and outright retraction of the malignant story alongside a total withdrawal of the story from all Times platforms,” reads the letter.

It is not yet to be seen whether the respected Times will take cognizance of the letter after all, it had already revised its article heading on its online version.

The spokesperson says the government is offended and takes this as an attack on the whole nation “because the facts are bare and can easily be verified with organisers of the Summit.

“We are forced to assume that your publication is now geared at creating a communication melee which we suspect is attempting to isolate Africa from the global village.

“The Times may wish to note that GPE is the largest global multilateral fund dedicated to education in developing countries which aims at strengthening education systems in developing countries to increase the number of children accessing education. Malawi is one of the developing countries that has been supported by GPE since 2010.

“It is my hope that Times will accord my communication, on behalf of the Government of Malawi, the attention it deserves considering the unnecessary confusion this reportage by Times has created,” concludes the letter.

In the said edition, The Times reported that President Chakwera had “flown 7,000 miles with a ten-strong entourage to attend an online conference being chaired from London, claiming that his country’s erratic internet makes it impossible to work from home”.

It is a fact that Malawi experiences not just exorbitant internet costs but poor quality that at times is erratic due to outages and lack of capacity leading to congestion.

The newspaper also claimed that President Chakwera landed in London “with a delegation that included his wife, daughter and son-in-law” for the summit.

President Chakwera has himself defended the inclusion of the ‘relatives’, explaining “they are Malawians that are doing something along with me on this trip and that they are just as valuable”.

“Each one of them have specific functions and the specific functions are such that for me to be able to attend a meeting like this, I need their services,” President Chakwera said during a BBC HARDtalk interview on Wednesday.

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temweka
temweka
1 month ago

if the conference was virtual why travel to UK at the public expenses? we need wise, patriotic visionary leaders; if we are to come out of underdevelopment. he is doing same old mistakes like hispredecessors.

John Skeva
John Skeva
1 month ago

For us on development not attacking don’t hate the truth look how Malawi country is

Winston Msowoya
Winston Msowoya
1 month ago

London Newspaper is not writing fake things as your President/Mbusa giving you fake materials.THOU SHOULD Not say untrueth.In fact it is CHAkWERA to apologize to the British government for his untrueth materials.WHAT A GOD FOLLOWER?

Moffat DMC nkhoma
Moffat DMC nkhoma
1 month ago

And what change will that bring? It will just make more noise than before and I think you guys are enjoying embarrassing our good president!

Ntenje
Ntenje
1 month ago

Times news paper of London can not write article without proper research and verification.
He was asked at malawi Airport why he can’t attend the conference virtually, he replied that internet here is elastic.

Concerned Bonafide Malawian
Concerned Bonafide Malawian
1 month ago

They need to be factual as a renown publication. Or they thrive on gossip and infamously categorised as renown? ‘This UK Times Newspaper don’t deserve to fall into the renown Publishers but Gossipers that don’t verify the truths of a matters & infamous publishers/ liars.’

Last edited 1 month ago by Concerned Bonafide Malawian
Chiphwisi
Chiphwisi
1 month ago

Useless. So if he takes his children and relatives on trips they are Malawians not cash hungry handicapper.

Kamchiputu
1 month ago

You are wasting your time. They will never retract.

Easwaran
Easwaran
1 month ago
Reply to  Kamchiputu

That is fine. But Malawi has to clarify so that the public can know the true picture

phiri
1 month ago

News sikunama, internet kuno ndi mbola kapena ku state house ilibwino

Abdullah Whyte
Abdullah Whyte
1 month ago

Mungovomereza kuti zativuta pamudzi pano.

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