Malawi’s Nation newspaper defies government, continues to publish: Remains critical

Malawi’s flagship newspaper Nation Publications Limited has defiantly continue publishing despite having the newsroom and other operation offices locked up  in Blantyre by Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA)  accusing it of failing to pay taxes.

Newspaper vendor

The publication has been operating on a makeshift newsroom and was breaking no law by continuing to be in circulation with its weekend title, The Weekend Nation and Nation of Sunday hitting the streets.

Observers argue that the forced closure of The Nation offices in Blantyre was done to silence the paper which is critical of the government and viewed as professional and objective.

The observers further state that the government was using unpaid taxes as a smokescreen to silence an independent newspaper that was exposing their criminality.

Tax officials have not commented on the matter, but a government spokesman said the MRA were only trying to recoup unpaid taxes.

Malawian government spokesman Mark Botomani denied assertions that the regime is on a media clamp down.

In their weekend title, the paper revealed that the Roads Authority (RA) has been awarding contracts to two firms – Rommex and the Engineers Battalion of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) – that lack requisite certifications.

The paper also reported that  the phased construction of the Mwanza-Neno and the Ntcheu-Tsangano-Neno-Mwanza roads, could result in duplication of expenditure, quoting Neno-based politician and social accountability activist Leonard Phinda that the new 140-km Ntcheu-TsanganoNeno-Mwanza Road project, launched earlier this year by President Peter Mutharika, will also cover the 37 kilometres of the Mwanza–Neno Road, there is high likelihood of creating room for duplicating expenditure on the roads.

And in the columns section, there has been stinging criticism on the countrys leadership.

One columnist, Backbencher  argued that the violence that ensued from the May 21 presidential election has changed the narrative on Malawi within the donor community, citing the  UN human rights body statement from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, saying it was “very concerned” by lack of meaningful dialogue to address the mounting tension and violent protests in Malawi.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), which has seen similar cases elsewhere in Africa degenerating into civil strife, warns that if our case is left unattended, “there is a serious risk the situation will spiral out of control.”

Reads the column in part: “The demonstrations aren’t about [Lazarus] Chakwera or  [Saulos] Chilima. People want their votes to count. They want to have a listening and caring government that serves all Malawians equally.  Many times in past people’s favourite candidates have lost but we’ve never witnessed so much anger and despondency has been the case this year. The people are simply fed up!”

The influential columnist further state that there is no better way than President Mutharika sitting together with Chakwera, Chilima and other contestants in the presidential race in an indaba to thrash out issues then produce a joint communiqué clearly stating their commitment to peace, respect for the rule of law and urging their warring supporters to bury the hatchet and unite as one nation, Malawi.

“These politicians should learn to share the podium at State functions and recognise each other’s role in a multiparty system of government,” states the column.

But in all this, Backbencher argued that Mutharika, as Head of State and Government, should take the lead and not sit on the terraces.

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Moses t kamanga
Guest
Moses t kamanga

Just pay pliz nation..
Uhv been accusing gvt of mismanaging tax payers money and uhv been advising the gvt to be transparent and accountable..
U just do the right thing by settling those thax…u make alot of noise when its the gvt,,,failing to pay tax its the same as stealing gvt money…
So ur just gud at accusing gvt yet ur failing to do the right thing?
Never politicise this,,,,

Mtk
Guest
Mtk

And u times,,,this z not about politics..
We know ur mcp but dont just politicise everything..
We all ought to be paying tax regardless of what we are..
Never forget….no one z above the law

hewe
Guest

do not back people or companies who dodge tax , how can we develop without paying tax .why do you politicise everything

Kambewa chisale
Guest

Fwiti ndi Uyo wakuti Tilingane. Anzathu aku North amati Fwiti ndi Uyo wakuti Tilingane. Don’t blame the one who is warning you of the pending danger

SAUNDERS
Guest
SAUNDERS

Its a pattern that when these News Papers defies the Law of honestly remitting taxes, people rush to condemn Government. The tax that the Government is looking for mostly is VAT, Which they get from adverts and other consultancies. Nation news paper does not attack the Government as opposed to Daily Times, this paper is not affiliated to any Party, their Reporters belong to different Political Parties and it enjoy support from Govt , Statutory Corporations, NGOs and Foreign missions. They are paid in Millions for adverts. Malawians lets stop supporting greed and irresponsibility in these news papers, they pay… Read more »

kamina
Guest
kamina

pliz nation newspaper just settle the tax you were evading osati muzinamizira boma kuti likuchita witch hunting ayi lipilani ndalamazo ndizathu…paying tax makes a person have peace of mind.