Malawi President Peter Mutharika has called off the meeting with journalists which was scheduled for Friday at Sanjika Palace.
Ministry of Information said on Thursday that presidential interface which would have been “an opportunity for the media to interact with the President on various issues pertinent to the [media] industry and the country,” has been cancelled.
“I write to advise that the Presidential Interface with the President that was supposed to take place tomorrow, Friday, 14 November 2014 at Sanjika Palace has been postponed,” a statement from Ministry of Information emailed by Chikondi Chimala said.
The staterment said “new dates of the meeting will be communicated.”
President Mutharika faces economic challenges following donors withholding aid in reaction to a growing scandal over government graft known as Cashgate.
Malawi has relied heavily on foreign aid since independence and since 40 percent of country ’s budget comes from international donors.
Journalists including the Nyasa Times welcomed the presidential interface, as a good idea as long as the media practitioners don’t lose sight of their agenda that they expect from government to table Access to Information Bill in parliament and President to sign the ‘Table Mountain Declaration’ that urges governments in Africa to abolish “insult laws” and set free press high on the agenda.
The ‘Table Mountain Declaration’ was issued following a World Association of Newspapers and the World Editors Forum meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.
The media has been urging government to expedite the adoption of the Access to Information Bill and also protect journalists from harassment and arbitrary arrests.
The Malawi Cabinet in February approved an access to information policy, setting the stage for introduction of ATI legislation.
Recently Malawian Minister of Information and Civic Education Kondwani Nankhumwa said he will soon present an access to information bill.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :