MCP back with dirty tricks: Media strategy exposed

The Malawi Congress Party (MCP) intends to use, among others, a strategy to infiltrate and corrupt the media, including theft, in its desperate bid to win the tripartite elections next year.

According to a media strategy document leaked to the Nyasa Times operatives of the party will buy loyalty of some influential media managers and reports in both print and electronic media houses to slant their reporting in favour of the party.

“Funds need to be identified as quickly as possible to exploit the weakness noted in the newsrooms where media practitioners are not paid handsomely and thus become vulnerable to monetary inducements,” the document says.

The document, prepared by a team that works with the party’s presidential candidate Reverend Lazarous Chakwera, the operatives will also infiltrate MBC and Ministry of Information libraries and make away with recordings of public rallies and functions conducted by all former heads of state.

Chakwera: Media strategy laid bare
Chakwera: Media strategy laid bare

Reads the document in part: “The materials are essential for propaganda purposes. Important parts of the speeches will have to be selected and spinned around in such a manner that provides advantages to our candidate”

The party, renowned for its dark past characterized by espionage on opponents, will, according to the document, plant its personnel at MBC and Ministry of Information to steal the materials and anything they will lay hands on to boost their campaign.

“It is critical that this is done as soon as possible because if it is done close to the official campaign period security might be tightened,” states the document prepared after what it calls “a consultative process.”

The targeted media houses where journalists will be aligned to jump stories that would negatively affect MCP and its leadership, are Capital radio, Zodiak Broadcasting Station, Joy Radio, Galaxy Radio, Channel for All Nations, Matindi and community radios: Mudziwathu and Nkhota Kota.

Apart from buying journalists and stealing documents from the public media, the MCP intends to buy sympathy from the media by making pronouncements that praise journalists.

The party will also form a media working group that will enlist the services of at least eight media houses. The media working group will consist of 10 people.

The party also intends to establish a propaganda newsletter in Chichewa and other vernacular languages to be distributed in the remote areas across the country.

The newsletters will be handled by selected influential journalists from the same independent media newsrooms during their free times to give it an edge of credibility.

The strategy was officially launched on September 9, 2013.

By September 6, 2013 the party was scheduled to have recruited journalists from influential media houses and contact persons at MBC and Ministry of Information.

By September 8, the group was scheduled to brainstorm modalities of its operations to enter into service agreements and possible reward the journalists for accepting the major task.

The party is hopeful that if applied successfully the strategy will overturn the current situation where the party is facing resentment from the media.

MCP currently has no spokesman but the party’s secretary general Chris Daza feigned ignorance on the document and declined to comment.

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