The Minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Mtambo, has accused the previous regimes of frustrating efforts to create an empowered and active citizenship so that they could give room to the ruling elites to plunder public resources.
Mtambo made the accusation in Blantyre when he officially opened a capacity-building workshop for community radio stations and staff members of Nice Trust on coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional integration.
“It is unfortunate that the previous administrations provided less political will to matters of Civic education for fear that civic education leads to empowerment and an empowered citizenry is a catalyst for democratic governance such as accountability and transparency. Despite the harsh political environment, NICE has remained resilient in civic educating the masses on various issues affecting the country,” said the minister.
Mtambo said the Tonse Alliance government is particularly pleased that NICE Trust, which is a state agency mandated to provide civic education on various issues affecting the society, has already mainstreamed coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in its mobilization and awareness activities.
He stated that although the country is registering a steady rise in the number of recoveries, the pandemic continues to pose a serious danger in all sectors of life.
“Currently, the Government is working on a National Response Plan on Covid-19 through its all-inclusive National Taskforce. The Taskforce calls for intense collaboration between government and various organizations in the fight against the deadly pandemic,” Mtambo said.
Nice executive director Ollen Mwalubunju observed that Covid19 is beyond a public health, meaning that it is not only a medical issue, but also a socioeconomic matter as it affects the status and the pattern of interaction among people.
Mwalubunju said Nice realizes that the synergy between community radio stations and Nice can make a significant impact in the fight against the pandemic, and in creating public awareness on regional integration in SADC.
Mwalubunju therefore expressed commitment to working with community radio stations in ensuring that every citizen is reached with topical messages.
“The community radio stations will play a critical role in identifying role models who will be capacitated to champion issues of covid19 and disseminate the rightful information to the communities through radio stations. In so doing, we can reduce the spread of covid19 by 80 percent through civic education and community radios,” he said.
He also expressed commitment to working with the Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa-Malawi) to educate, entertain and inform communities for free apart from the sponsoring Covid-19-specific programmes.
Misa-Malawi national governing council member, Mandy Pondani, said the pandemic has brought a lot of misinformation, disinformation and fake news.
Pondani therefore called upon the community broadcasters to help in debunking fake news on Covid-19.
“Make use of correct information and reliable sources in your programming to avoid misleading the public,” she said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :