Misa Malawi suspends JB’s press aide Nhlane on its forum

Media rights watchdog MISA- Malawi has suspended Presidential Secretary Steve Nhlane on its Google internet discussion forum which boasts of over 1 500 journalists on accusations that he intimidating a journalist Grace Kapatuka.

Nhlane reportedly warned the journalist who is an Editor at Malawi News Agency for commenting on the presidential jet proceeds that have been looted.

Her ‘dangerous’ comment on a journalist’s discussion forum was ‘Is that so?’ – In reply to some explanation by a fellow member of the group.

Nhlane demanded that Kapatuka should resign from the state news agency Mana for making such a comment.

Journalists led by Rabecca Chimjeka hold a protests as Director of Information Mtumodzi looks on
Journalists led by Rabecca Chimjeka hold a protests as Director of Information Mtumodzi looks on

The Presidential Press Secretary also threatened all journalists from commenting negatively against government on the forum- effectively impinging on their freedom of expression.

Nhlane also penned Director of Information Chikumbutso Mtumodzi to discipline Kapatuka.

The development irked journalists who organised an impromptu protests at Centre Office of Information in Lilongwe carrying placards against Nhlane.

On Sunday, Misa-Malawi head, Anthony Kasunda announced Nhlane has been suspended from the group.

“Following Mr Steven Nhlane’s recent actions to do with Malawi News Agency journalist Grace Kapatuka, the National Governing Council is taking steps to charge the Presidential Press Secretary for suspected breach of its rules and regulations,” Kasunda informed the members on the forum.

“Mr Nhlane has, therefore, been suspended forthwith from the forum. The matter is being handled by MISA Malawi legal Counsel,” he added.

Nhlane: Suspended from Misa forum
Nhlane: Suspended from Misa forum

Nhlane, who holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Malawi, worked as editor for Malawi News,  a weekly for five years, Weekend Nation for six years, the defunct  Star newspaper for three years and the Malawi News Agency for eight years.

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