MIJ radio journalist fired over leaked Peter Mutharika clip

By Dillinger Soko, Nyasa Times

The Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) radio has fired its reporter Jospeh Mwale  for  allegedly recording a conversation in which  ruling DPP presidential candidate Peter Mutharika was captured slandering other DPP members and playing stinking tribal politics.

Mutharika was also heard making comments about his own candidacy for president in 2014.

MIJ fired Mwale who was a sub-editor for allegedly invading the privacy of Mutharika

According to the termination later signed by one ‘Mrs Nkunika,’ Mwale was found guilty by a three man disciplinary hearing which tried him of charges ranging from breaking the MIJ ethics code, infringing Peter Mutharika’s Privacy and the likelihood of bringing costly lawsuits to the Station.

Joseph Mwale: Fired

“Due to the gravity for the charges raised at the disciplinary hearing this morning, management has decided to relieve you of your duties…” reads part of the letter.

Mwale refused to talk to Nyasa Times which was the first to report about the recording and later posted its podcast online.

However, sources close to the MIJ administration revealed that he has since appealed the decision to the Malawi Polytechnic’s Principal Professor Kululanga, ex-Journalism faculty dean Grey Mang’anda (MIJ’s Ex-officio board of directors members) and has reportedly been talking to human rights lawyer Ralph Kasambara.

Mwale is reportedly arguing that he never planted any bugs in Mutharika’s office and that it was the president’s brother carelessness that is to blame.

He also told the disciplinary committee that he never leaked the clip saying that no sane man can leak a tape with his name unedited.

And in the his appeal letter, Mwale has argued that Peter Mutharika’s privacy has to be weighed against public interest since he might be the next president and thus people need to know what he is, this in addition to the fact that Mutharika was talking about the same issue, Mwale had called to inquire about.

“Instead of guaranteeing my safety all I get is a dismissal plus a cut pay? This is traumatising,” was all Mwale told a pal.

Internal sources also revealed to Nyasa Times in confidence that the station has since issued a decree to stop all anti-government news from airing, “Listen to MIJ, it’s now like MBC radio 3,” said the source.

The reversal in editorial policy comes after Vuwa Kaunda, who was information minister until cabinet was dissolved on Friday, reportedly blasted the station officials and threatened them with “unspecified actions.”

“I wonder why they are buying this trash from Vuwa, I hear he is slated to be fired by Mutharika and all this is just an attempt to score marks.”

Mwale is a product of the Polytechnic journalism department and graduated with a credit, he has already worked in high ranking positions at Capital Radio, has been a lecturer at Simard and MIJ whisked him from Simard for his sharp interviewing skills and professionalism.

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