A survey purporting to show people’s views on President Mrs. Joyce Banda’s maize distribution programme across the country is fake and a campaign gimmick aimed at discrediting the President in her benevolent work, according to State House.
The Nation newspaper was during the past week asking people to vote YES if they agree that President Banda should personally be distributing maize or NO if they do not agree.
The Nation on Sunday is set to announce on Sunday that “out of 1,300 votes, 800 voted against the President personally distributing maize” to the 2,000 food insecure people in Malawi.
But Presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhlane said on Saturday the newspaper’s survey is “not genuine” and wondered why a professional newspaper group like Nation Publications Limited “should sink so low as to fake a survey.”
Nhlane is a seasoned journalist and columnist who has worked as Editor for Nation Publications and Blantyre Newspapers Limited.
“An independent network of intelligence we are privy to has established that as many as 1,500 people voted YES to The Nation newspaper question. Surprisingly, the newspaper will tomorrow publish that 70 percent voted NO to the question.
“It would be interesting to see the tallies from which the findings are drawn. These should be available at the mobile phone service providers which the newspaper company works with on the surveys. To make the results credible they should also make the methodology and voting process very transparent,” Nhlane said.
“ Macra [Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority] should also closely monitor all future surveys because it is clear some people are abusing the mobile phone voting facility for their own selfish agenda.
“They have an agenda which is to discredit Her Excellency on her mission to feed the 2,000 food insecure Malawians. It is a wrong agenda. The President is focused on healing the broken economy and improving the lives of Malawians and she will not be distracted by fake surveys results,” said Nhlane.