Malawi media applauded on Cashgate coverage

Minister of Information and Civic Education Brown Mpinganjira commended the local media for its coverage of the looting of public funds at Capital Hill christened as Cashgate, saying they ensured that there is transparency and accountability in all national matters.

Mpinganjira said this in Blantyre on Thursday  during a public funds accountability symposium for media managers held at Protea Ryalls Hotel which was organized by Media Council of Malawi with support from World Bank.

“The media, though with some media practitioners having allegiance to other interest groups, have done so well in reporting the Cashgate issue and they need to be congratulated. Government is glad that even when the media was critical of it, it was able to come forward with a positive story once they found it and the critics helped us move forward,” said Mpinganjira.

Mpinganjira: Government is glad with media watchdog role
Mpinganjira: Government is glad with media watchdog role

He continued: “I have to say here that for the last 10 years corruption has been growing very fast but media was unable to expose it. I am happy with the way how media is conducting its business now.”

He said people should patiently wait for the outcome of cash gate cases saying nobody who is involved in the scandal shall be spared.

The purpose of the meeting is to review media performance, obstacles and way forward in holding government accountable on public financial management issues.

Media Council of Malawi (MCM) Chairperson Reverend Patrick Semphere said the role of the media in promoting accountability and checking corruption cannot be overemphasized.

He said on daily basis, the media is running stories that in one way or another expose mismanagement of funds and corrupt practices.

“In a bid to out-scoop each other, media houses have often fallen into the trap of sensationalizing stories without adequate facts and evidence. Litigations have followed and some publications have closed because of careless reporting.

“We need to address the issue of integrity within the media itself to ensure that we are not part of the problem we are expected to solve,” said Semphere.

The symposium– organised by MCM with support from World Bank – included presentations from assistant director in the Ministry of Finance Betty Ngoma; managing editor for Nation Publications Limited Edward Chitsulo; media lawyer at Chancellor College Edge Kanyongolo and Chris Chisoni of Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.—(Additional reporting by Mana)

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