The family of shot Ministry of Finance budget director Paul Mphwiyo have insisted that the gun-shot survivor needs privacy from the media to recuperate but he is committed to cooperate with authorities to provide information on what he know about his shooting and looting of billions of kwacha from public coffers at Capital Hill.
Mphwiyo family claims to have endured a lot of stress and trauma following his shooting and inundated with phone calls from the media. They said like any other family they are entitled to privacy and dignity.
However, their plea received a backlash from University of Malawi professor and the Media Institute of Southern Africa-Malawi Chapter (Misa-Malawi).
Chancellor College associate professor of law Edge Kanyongolo said there is no justification for the family to demand privacy as their kin remains a public figure with a lot to explain to the Malawi nation.
Misa-Malawi chairperson Anthony Kasunda said “media should be free to have access to him.”
However, the family calls on stakeholders to do their homework before commenting on issues.
“To say that Paul Mphwiyo is not entitled to privacy as he recuperates because he is a public officer is not only misleading but also missing the point. Section 21 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi is crystal clear. It says ‘[e]very person shall have the right to personal privacy’.
“The provision does not distinguish whether one is a public officer or private citizen.”
The Mphwiyo family clalified that the Budget Director does not say that he should not provide information. What they say is that required information will be provided by the relevant authorities who are mandated to give such information.
The family said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times that: “We are also aware that since the shooting of Paul, there have emerged allegations of massive illegitimate encashment of public funds of the Government of Malawi. The relevant State institutions in this country are investigating these allegations. Indeed, at appropriate times, these State institutions have provided updates on the progress being made to the general public through the local media.
“A number of narratives have emerged regarding Paul’s shooting on one hand and the encashment of public funds on the other. Since Paul’s return to Malawi, there has been heightened media rush to interview Paul regarding his shooting and indeed the encashment of public funds. In relation to the latter, Paul’s views are supposedly relevant since, at all material times, he was the incumbent Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance of the Government of Malawi. “
Mphwiyo family said it understands and value the media’s right to inform the general public on matters of national interest.
“We wish to point out, however, that Paul has cooperated, and will continue to cooperate, with the relevant State institutions regarding his shooting and the encashment of public funds,” said the statement.
Police have said they have not discovered any link between Mphwiyo’s shooting on September 13 2013 and the cashgate scandal.
About six people have been arrested in connection with Mphwiyo’s shooting, including lawyer and former minister of justice Ralph Kasambara, his bodyguard Keston Gani, a Dauka Manondo, a Robert Kadzuwa and a Macdonald Kumwembe.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :