Former State House Press Officer and Director of Information Chikumbutso Mtumodzi has been entrusted by President Bingu wa Mutharika with the responsibility to head his private radio and television station, Galaxy, based in the capital city, Lilongwe.
Mtumodzi was moved out of State House in 2010 and appointed Director of Information.
He was later sent to the Ministry of the Elderly and People with Disabilities as Deputy Secretary which was a big promotion until in August 2011 when Mutharika reshuffled his cabinet and that ministry was disbanded.
Mtumodzi had not been relocated until recently when the President offered him the job at Galaxy as the pioneer at the media establishment.
Meanwhile, an employee of the defunct Mutharika’s newspaper, The Guardian, has expressed concern that although some members of staff at the newspaper have been co-opted into Galaxy, they have not yet received the January salaries. He said the situation is worse for those that have been completely laid off.
Mutharika’s daughter Duwa Mubaira used to run the Guardian newspaper until recently when the newspaper could not afford to pay printing costs at Design Printers in Lilongwe.
According to the employee, Mutharika had acquired a printing press Fattani Offset Printers in 2008 but the machine was obsolete and became notorious for breakdowns. The Guardian therefore returned to Design Printers for printing.
“It became (printing at Design) financially unsustainable and hence when the President visited India in early November 2010, he sourced another printing press, which is in the country but has not yet been planted. We were assured that we would be paid our dues and that when the new printing press becomes operational, we would be recalled,” said the source.
The source said when President Mutharika returned recently from an African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Duwa and the Guardian Administrator Zilani Gondwe went to see him to inform him about the unpaid employees but the President is said to have declined to intervene in any manner.
“Instead, he ordered the immediate closure of the Guardian offices in his Lonrho House in Limbe, Blantyre and the laying off of all members of staff; we’re in a pathetic state,” complained the source.
Among notable media personnel to be on Galaxy air are Gerald Viola, George Misinde, Kennedy Nkombezi and Mbauwo Chavula.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :