Minister Kaliati, journalist in verbal clash

Information Minister Patricia Kaliati and Nation Publications Limited (NPL) Bureau Chief for Lilongwe Mabvuto Banda brought tension at a news briefing at the Central Office of Information (COI) in Lilongwe on Thursday morning when the two  had a fiery verbal exchange.

The two tussled over the ongoing Public Affairs Committee (PAC) conference hosted at the Limbe Cathedral in Blantyre and the challenges that Malawians are facing under tyrant Bingu wa Mutharika.

Journalist Banda, who also writes for Reuters News Agency,  accused the Mutharika administration of “cooking stories” and being afraid of the Public Affairs Committee (PAC)  conference.

Kaliati: Verbal war

He reminded the minister Kaliati that PAC has been there since the reign of Malawi’s first president Dr. Hastings Kamuzu and that the group played a big role in changing Malawi from one party rule to multiparty system of government.

The journalist further said PAC stood still in defence of democracy and Malawi constitution by stopping former president and first multiparty Head of State, Dr. Bakili Muluzi from contesting for the third term.

“Why is Government so scared about PAC meeting? Traditionally we have always had these meetings where people decide their future. It was there in 1992-93 to end the one party regime of Banda and the same happened in 2002 when people stopped the third term. You were there you supported the third term. That is the feeling of many people,” said Banda.

Kaliati in her response said  government is not afraid of anything but rather it is  against the castigations towards president Bingu wa Mutharika and his calling of President Mutharika.

“Government is not scared but it is concerned with the castigation. They are just castigating everybody without any solutions. If they are serious why can’t they focus on issues than castigation? …Even yourself you have not offered solution,” said garrulous  Kaliati.

The journalist retorted :“that is not my job to offer solutions, I am not government”.

Kaliati then said: “No you are government, you people elected the government it’s is your job, if not whose job do you think it is”.

The journalist said: “It is yours Honorable Minister. People did not elect me to offer solutions. They elected you to solve their problems, like the ones we are facing”.

Kaliat then said: “Yes, so people elected us meaning they know we will solve the problems. That’s why they elected us.

But fearless Banda shot back: “No, the DPP cheated them that you will solve their problems”.

Later the journalist urged Kaliati, President Mutharika and the entire government to provide solutions to the problems Malawians are going through.

Recently, Kaliati grabbed headlines when she threatened to attack freelance  journalist Gregory Gondwe after accusing him of having a “vendetta against her personally and the people from her region, the same region where Malawi president, Bingu wa Mutharika hails from.”

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