Malawi opposition MP decries MBC hate campaign: Dausi in defence as Kabwila hits out

Kasungu South-East member of Parliament (MP) Khumbize Kandodo-Chiponda (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) has raised concern in parliament that the State broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) continues to use traditional leaders and the clergy to demonise the opposition and is running a hate campaign.

MP Chiponda: MBC on hate campaign

Rising on point of  concerns of public importance under Standing Order 69, Chiponda said MBC  is giving  black out of the news or reports from any opposition parties on its radios and television.

She said MBC is a public broadcaster and funded through taxes from all Malawians including from opposition.

“The only news which gets aired on MBC from the opposition it’s either negative or very damaging,” Chiponda said.

The parliamentarian also expressed  concerned that Democratic Progressive Party-led government was using MBC—television and radio—to vilify those holding dissenting views.

“It is very disheartening that even we are in a multiparty dispensation, MBC is still being used as a tool to castigate and demonize the opposition parties as well as Public Affairs Committee (PAC),” said Chiponda.

She said it is “very unfortunate” that MBC is parading traditional leaders as well as the clergy to “misinform” the nation about the opposition parties as well as opposition leaders.

The MP also raised concern on propaganda programmes which are aired such as Chindunji.

She noted that in the program  they “badmouth” opposition party leaders as well as opposition parties.

“Even the reporters have become like district governors of the ruling party,” said Chiponda.

She also pointed out that Leader of Opposition in Parliament Lazarus Chakwera response to President Peter Mutharika’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) was abruptly cut off during the Parliament programme on MBC-TV.

“This is very unfortunate because the response was covering issues of national importance which Malawian needed to hear and would have been beneficial to them,” he said.

Chiponda continued: “Mr Speaker, Sir, MBC was established to disseminate, inform and educate Malawians concerning development of the country but it is failing to do that.

“Mr Speaker, Sir, denying Malawians access to information it is a violation of our Constitution. It is very important that this House safeguards our democracy, which we did not come on silver platter.  Some gallant and fearless Malawians, especially from the North really paid heavily for us to have the democracy. It is indeed very important that we safeguard this democracy, especially with the conduct of our public broadcaster, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).”

Standing on a point of order MP for Blantyre City South,  Allan Ngumuya (DPP)  said it was not right for Chiponda to complain about “the negativity” on the MBC, because private owned Times Television  and Radio,  “castigate”  government.

Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya ruled Ngumuya   “ completely out of order” saying “ two wrongs do not make a right.”

Commenting on the concerns by Chiponda, Minister of Information and Communication Technology Nicholous  Dausi said

Dausi said his ministry cannot tke part in editorial decision  by MBC and that the State broadcaster works  in line with its editorial policy.

He  said a free media is an important catalyst for entrenching good governance and democracy.

“We need a free media to check the Executive, the Legislature (Parliament) and the Judiciary.  We need a free media to check political parties and the civil society.  The media shall be left alone to remain a mirror to our society and provide oversight for the people of Malawi.  To quote the Mr Speaker on 6th May, this year.  He said and I quote: ‘fight the media at your own peril.’

“I am aware, Mr Speaker, Sir, that the democratic dispensation has brought an enormous challenge on the media, to be seen to serve everyone in his or her own interest.Let us all at all cost remain neutral then we will be able to appreciate the role of MBC in national building,  but if we are to take our political inclination then we will be making a big, big mistake,” said Dausi.

Dausi said  threats of considering to withdraw funds for MBC on account that it does not favourably cover the opposition is “democratically unfortunate.”

“ Mr Speaker, Sir, I wish to implore the august House to desist from any attempt to stifle any news media and let alone MBC by sentiments of funds withdrawal for this is against the fundamental freedoms of the expression. Like all other media houses, MBC may not be successfully fulfilling its mandate, but this is not deliberate or out of ill will,” he said.

Dausi said  MBC aspires to a standard of objectivity, “but like any other media house news is inevitably filtered through the biases and sensibilities of individuals and enterprises for which the nation must be served, whether in the views, segments and shades of opinion which may decline that the news is sensational, superficial, intrusive or inaccurate. “

However, Salima North-West MP Jessie Kabwila (Malawi Congress Party-MCP)  said it was “grossly out of order” for Dausi to be  excusing himrself, not giving any solutions to correct the wrong.

Kabwila  accused  Dausi of covering up biased programming.

“When we see a politicisation of institutions, and when we see leaders who are supposed to be representing the people being used by a party, we expected to hear you and I think it’s out of order for you to dwell on actually admitting what is going on,” Kabwila said.

She added: “We cannot correct what we as a nation are not even accepting is going wrong. Honourable Minister we expected to hear you outline the steps you are going to take to correct the situation. We expected to look at institutionalisation of this politicisation. Instead what we are seeing is you are actually glorifying a miscarriage of justice, a dereliction of duty in a democratic state. I think you saw this happening in the academic freedom saga. We saw it in the treason case “

In 2007, the opposition successfully defunded MBC and then Television Malawi by giving it a nominal K1 allocation for the financial year.

At the time, the opposition legislators also claimed that MBC and TVM were propaganda tools of the government being used to discredit the opposition through programmes on the radio such as Mizwanya and Makiyolobasi which were discontinued .

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amdala bambo
Guest

THE GOOD THING IS THAT WISE PEOPLE SEE ALOT OF POSITIVES IN HOW APM GOVERNS THIS COUNTRY. HE PROMISED ATI, WE HAVE IT, LEAN CABINET, THERE IT IS, NO ONE TO DIE OF HUNGER, IT CAME TO PASS. NOW IF U HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MBC, USE ATI. POWER WRESTLIN THROUGH MBC IS UNACCEPTABLE. IT SIMPLY SMACKS OF A WOMAN IN THE NAME OF JESSIE WHO IS VERY DESPERATE FOR POWER,kkkkkkkkkkkkkk

FRAZULU
Guest

YOU ARE OUT OF MIND

Central
Guest

Dausi and DPP are desperate for life ruling and have resorted to using whatever is at their disposal!

Rift Valley
Guest

I honesty don’t understand Dausi’s logic. Unlike private media houses, MBC is a public broadcaster funded by the taxpayer and this should not be used by the ruling party to castigate other parties. Parading drunk and funny looking chiefs or hoodlums on MBC TV to castigate the opposition is definitely not what people pay tax for.

This, to me is so elementary and I wonder why Dausi can’t see this. Please argue cases logically and not for the sake of arguing. Otherwise shut your trap. We could do with less abuse of the English language.

Thomson Nathan
Guest

GOD FORBID

mahera
Guest

Politicians take advantage of our sleepness to abuse us and deny us of our own rights. Who doesn’t know that ppo like Dausi, Ntaba, Tembo, … are the ones that were illtreating ppo during mcp erra? And now the same joined DPP and now we have ppo being killed mysteriously.
MBC has been replaced by times in saving ppo. No wonder times tv scooped the biggest awards during the media award gara.
I pity MBC

Ebuka
Guest

MBC employed Cadets to insult opposition, Philip Business, Chapita and others

santana
Guest
Mr Mzozodo, after Kamuzu we have 4 governments ruling this country. Tell me one party from 1994 which used MBC to the benefit of the opposition. Why should we waste time and energy discussing things which every sane person knows that is deep-rooted in our country? Does MCP believe that if given a chance to rule(which will never happen) they will give opportunity to opposition parties to bash Chakwera live on MBC? Wilson Square has given a very wise comment which all of us know that the opposition had all the time to change the Act but they don’t do… Read more »
Novida
Guest

History repeating itsel. Even if you defund MBC, what will be your gain? If MBC was given MK1, did it stop functioning? I think ku opposition fans yabalalika ndi mmene boma ladyetsera anthu chimanga chaka chathachi, ndi mmene chimanga chili mbweeembweembwee chaka chinomu, ndi mmene ma blackout akuchepamu. Politics of reaction yakupweteketsani. Mwasowa chonena tsono. DPPchaka chamawa pa campaign zokamba mbwerekete. A opposition zokamba ziiiiiiiii

ecabychikaphupha
Guest
To say the truth honorable in parliament I beg your permission to focus much in development of this country.We have been in self independent for almost 51yrs but we are not moving on.Leave MBC alone and focus on development.How far will be it will be you being leader of this beautiful Malawi.Nkhani anthu ogwira ntchito ku MBC koma malamulo oyendetsela bungwe la MBC.Langa ndifuso kwa inu olemekezeka.Chifukwa chani inu aphungu a nyumba ya malamulo ambali yotsutsa boma mumakana kusintha malamulo oyendetsela bungweli?Kumbukilani kuti mwa ena akugwira ntchito ku bungweli ndimwana wa achemwari anu uja mudamusiya inu muli m’boma.Think it wisely… Read more »
agibo
Guest

childish government we ever had

Gi...laxx
Guest

Wina nde akukamba za 1983……uzimwale eti….

zachikalekale….mesa the ones who were doing that today are ministers ku dpp komko…..the old mcp is the dpp ruling today!

Mcp ya one party inatha pano we have a multiparty mcp…..which is very transformed.

Munya 2019

wpDiscuz

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