Seasoned journalists in the country have hailed President Peter Mutharika for being awarded and named the “Promoter of media freedom in Malawi, saying the Head of State has deservedly been recognised.
Tax-payer funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) presented the award to Mutharika during the glamorous 2018 MBC Innovations Awards at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
According to MBC the award has been presented as a token of appreciation for the commendable work the President has done in promoting media freedom in Malawi.
“Professor Mutharika has walked the talk after he committed to assent to the Access to Information Act into law, he has done just that and this is a milestone in the media industry,” said the MBC Board Chairperson Rev. Daniel Gunya.
Media veteran Felix Mponda hailed the Malawi leader for assenting to the long awaited Access to Information (ATI) B law and making sure that media operates freely Malawi.
The ATI law is expected to empower Malawians to hold government and duty-bearers accountable on governance issues.
Former Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter chairperson Thom Khanje also commented on Facebook, about the award, saying Mutharika has done well in areas where journalists are not harrassed but that there is about 60 percent of perfection to be done in other areas.
“Compared to the era of Joyce Banda, Bingu wa Mutharika and Bakili Muluzi, [President] Peter Mutharika’s era has recorded fewer cases of journalists being arrested or harassed by the police or party cadets,” noted Khanje.
Khanje pointed out that President Mutharika generally allows media freedom and freedom of expression “although I wouldn’t describe him as media friendly.”
He said Mutharika promised to open up MBC to the opposition but observed that the national brodcaster remains exclusively biased towards the ruling party.
In his remarks at the awards ceremony, President Mutharika commended MBC for promoting progressive values in the country.
He said MBC has been instrumental in propagating national values of patriotism, integrity and hard work and these are the cornerstones of our economic prosperity.
The President noted that MBC has always shown determination in promoting the spirit of innovation in the country.
“MBC innovations have rekindled the spirit of creation among ordinary Malawians in which they are being encouraged to take part in the country’s national development,” Mutharika said.
The Malawi Leader added that the country always need to find ways of solving problems saying the nation cannot get new results by doing thesame things the same way.
He pointed out that Malawians need to change the mindset and be innovative in doing things in order to improve their lives.
“Every Malawian is capable of doing great things and we only start to believe in ourselves by doing right things art right time,” Mutharika said.
He said let us help Malawian achievers to do great things for the country and making it a great nation.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Henry Mussa said it was pleasing to note that the country is making progress in terms of media freedom.
He said recent report on Media has indicated that Malawi is now ranked 64 from 70 from 180 countries in promoting media freedom.
Mussa pointed out that independent media have worked freely in the country since 1994 and continues to get support from government.
“We have seen more work being done through on-line publications where we are encouraging journalist to report accurately about the country,” the Minister said.
During the ceremony, Mzuzu based Small Scale Entrepreneur, Martin Salumpha was named 2018 Innovator of innovators and went away with cash prize of K1.5 million, a trophy and certificate.
Over 10 categories were winner were rewarded with cash prize of K 1 million each plus a trophy and certificate.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :