Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Kondwani Nankhumwa has encouraged the media in Malawi to report responsibly in order for citizens to make informed decisions thus spurring rapid social and economic development.
Nankhumwa, a former media practitioner turned politician, said the news organizations have capacity to make or break the country through its reporting of national issues.
He was speaking on Wednesday, October 30 2019 at the occasion of official inauguration of Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter new office complex in the capital, Lilongwe.
Nankhumwa, who is also the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Vice President for the Southern Region, represented Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Mark Botomani, who is abroad on official duties.
Nankhumwa thanked the media for keeping Malawians informed about government’s various social and economic programmes.
He, however, cautioned the media against irresponsible reporting, against the established media code of conduct and ethics, saying such conduct has the capacity to fuel hatred and anarchy, especially when issues involved are sensitive in nature, politically or otherwise.
Speaking in an interview with Nyasa Times, Nankhumwa said he was overjoyed to be part of the event in the history of media in Malawi.
“Independent and a vibrant media is essential for the democratic system, in terms of both uncovering truth and promoting transparency. Before the DPP, under the able leadership of His Excellency President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, came to power, journalists in Malawi did not enjoy the kind of genuine freedom they are enjoying today. This government has created better opportunities for Malawian journalists, with the government loosening its grip on the media,” said Nankhumwa.
“In the political context, the media is a vital tool for creating awareness about political processes, including elections. I wish to encourage my fellow politicians to avoid either abusing journalists for their selfish interests or attacking them physically or otherwise. President Mutharika is a firm believer in media freedom. Journalists must work in a free environment as long as they do so within the bounds of professional ethics and the law,” Nankhumwa told Nyasa Times.
MISA Malawi Chairperson, Theresa Ndanga thanked the minister for attending the function. She also hailed government for its apparent commitment to ensuring press freedom in Malawi.
The MISA Malawi office complex also comprises a media training centre, which Nankhumwa said was crucial in moulding jounalists in Malawi and Southern Africa into genuine professionals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :