Mutharika denies ordering MRA to shut down Times Media: Accuses CEO Chikadya

President Peter Mutharika has denied that he ordered the closure of media giant Times Group through the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), saying he does not interfere with the work of the revenue collectors.

Mutharika: Accuses Chikadya

Mutharika was speaking on State-controlled Malaiw Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).

He, however, accused the Chief Executive Officer of the Group, Leonard Chikadya, of ordering journalists to write bad things about the President and his government after what he claimed are frustrations following the government decision to drop him as chairman of a parastatal.

However, Nyasa Times has established that Chikadya is one of the rich people in Malawi with a string of businesses ranging from filling stations to farms.

Chikadya  is also the chairman of Ecobank, a pan African bank and sits on a dozen boards of the private sector.

As CEO, Chikadya does not interfere with editorial content of the giant and oldest Media Group in Malawi.

Mutharika’s critics say Mutharika and his administration target Times Group because of its fearless tackle of corruption in government which led to the exposure of former minister of agriculture George  Chaponda as a suspect in the procurement of maize from Zambia.

State-funded Malawi Human rights Commission (MHRC)in its report which was presented to President Mutharika condemened punitive action taken on some media houses such as Times Media Group.

In particular, the report cites the recent closure by MRA of Times Media Group and fining of Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) as politically-motivated persecution of the media while these bodies appear “seemingly executing their rightful roles.”

Reads part of the report: “The Constitution provides that the press shall have the right to report and publish freely, within Malawi and abroad and to be accorded the fullest possible facilities for access to information. Contrary to this provision, the media in Malawi has come under constant attacks, especially from the DPP [Democratic Progressive Party] officials and top government officials through public statements against specific media houses which are deemed to be critical of government and the DPP.

“The commission is concerned with the selective conduct that has been demonstrated by some of the public regulatory bodies such as Macra [Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority] and MRA, who, while seemingly executing their rightful roles, have been seen to be targeting media institutions that have been publicly labelled to be critical of the government.”

It adds: “The recent closure by MRA of Times Group is one glaring example of deep concern, especially as it comes not long after the media house has been publishing stories about alleged corruption in the buying of maize by Admarc from Zambia. The members of the general public have questioned why the actions by MRA and Macra have only targeted Times Group and not the rest of the media houses.”

Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter chairperson Thom Khanje said the MHRC assessment on the media landscape reflects the body’s own position, particularly on the issue of Times Media Group and ZBS

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14 thoughts on “Mutharika denies ordering MRA to shut down Times Media: Accuses CEO Chikadya”

  1. Neneni says:

    If I pay tax for my small business what’s more with this big co. Just pay tax

  2. Chikadya says:

    Chikadya needs investigation..how he has got filthy rich when his company is failing to pax taxes.. is he not siphoning to his own businesses?

  3. Mmihavani says:

    I do not understand why Times is whining and coming to the public for defense. These people are not disputing the fact that they owe citizens tax. From time and again we have heard of other taxpayers having their offices closed but they never complained instead they paid up. In 2016 alone we saw the offices of Mike Appel and Gatto, Siku Transport, Pick a Part being closed but they never cried politics. What’s so special with Times that it should be spared? We also heard that Zodiak was fined and they paid the demanded tax with crying loudly. Why not Times? We heard Joy Radio was fined and paid taxes. Why should Times not pay? These people instead of paying taxes they are busy financing their shareholders the MCP. Chikadya deducted PAYE from workers but never remitted the tax to MRA. Let him dispute this fact. The man Chikadya is just a bitter guy. This guy benefited a lot from Sunbird. Go to his house you will find that it was refurbished with materials meant for refurbishing Sunbird Hotels. Thief.

  4. Read says:

    Hahaha very funny and yet another dismal writing from Nyasa times.

    Don’t take readers for granted..

    Look at this very conclusive statement from your article “As CEO, Chikadya does not interfere with editorial content of the giant and oldest Media Group in Malawi”…

    How do you know that Chikadya doesn’t interfere with editorial content? What investigation did you undertake to arrive at such a factual conclusive statement..

    Also, where is the correlation between Time’s tax accusations and what you have chosen to write about Chikadya’s profile?? We are not interested in Chikadya’s profile and his riches, that’s not the issue at hand. Your article should have been informing us of an investigation on whether Times indeed owes us Malawians money or not. If the firm owes us money then the government is in the right to close it, irrespective of where the authority to close it came from.

    Nyasa times, I really think it’s high time your CEO gets to interfere with your editorial contents.. at times your amateurish reporting is so mind boggling.

    I won’t be surprised is you don’t post my comments.. you normally don’t post viewer’s criticism of your dismal performances.

  5. Justice Lungu says:

    Nyasatimes, why do you glorify tax evaders? I do not agree with Mutharika in many things he stands for, but pokhapa akuluakulu be sensible. If Times Group and ZBS are what you would wish us to believe, why can’t they pay their taxes promptly? I do pay mine in time as an individual. You want Chikadya and his pack azingodya yekha? Rubish!!!!!!!

    1. john says:

      Justice Lusungu must be very stupid. ZBS was not fine because of not paying tax. Zodiak was fine for running an interview which featured Kamlepo Kalua. Macra claimed Zodiak did not give the other side of story on Kalua’s interview. But how many times has Chakwera been attacked on MBC. Do we even hear Chakwera’s voice on MBC defending hmslef.

      Macra needs to be professional.

    2. Zex says:

      So if Times Group indeed owes us in billions of taxes, why has MRA let them loose?

  6. Chinthali says:

    Lipilan mtsonkho, don’t seek public sympathy.Iwe Times imva! Ndikuti Lipila tax. iwe zodiak leka kukamba nkhan imozi imozi kwa miyez 4. kalemben zina za chimanga zatikwana. iwe MBC uleke kuulutsa za chipan Koma udziulusa za Dziko coz u are not politically funded .

  7. Wakufa saopa kuwola says:

    Times group owns us money as Malawians. These pipo should be forced to pa mra millions which it owns us Malawians. Nkhani ndiyangongole kapena kuzemba kulephera msonkho. If Kamuzu was here this stupid company atayitseka. Lets leave politocs aside plz. Times ndi company yakuba. Ikuzemba kulipila msonkho oti boma ligulile mankhwala
    Kaya uyu muku Chikadya ndi olemela izo ndi zake komanso inu a nyasa muxichita vhilungamo pankhani zanu. We all know who you are and to which party you belong to. Times group has to pay MRA period.

  8. Kanjedza says:

    Dear times

    Start paying your taxes. You enjoyed enough. You write untrue stories about other tax payers and why should you get away. Pay tax as a good corporate citizen

  9. Why does MBC allow Bwampini uyu to accuse other people without hearing from them, unbalanced reporting? Manyazi mulibe? Awa or atakhala Life president palibe chingasinthe iwo m’Malawi muno, a confused inept leader….

  10. Thako la Nkhuku says:

    It can be argued whether Mutharika ordered MRA to shut down Times Group or not. And whether Chikadya is filthy richh neither here or there.

    However one truth is that Times owes us Malawians billions of Kwachas zimene Chikadya akudyazi.

    ZbS and Times should honour their tax liabilities so that they should be left alone. Kukanakhsla kunja beenzi pano the CEOs of these two plus other tax evaders atamangidwa

    1. Zenco says:

      Can we see evidence of the tax owing please!

  11. Ineyo says:

    Koma msonkhowo mulipira liti? osazikometsera kwambiri apa. LIPIRANI NDALAMA ZACHULUKA NANU MUKUBA POSAPEREKA

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