President Peter Mutharika has hit out at some of the media outlets in the country of reporting fake news, insisting that he is not aware of any ministers involved in the mismanagement of the public funds.
Mutharika had faced demands to axe seven ministers reportedly implicated in the ‘grand corruption’ financial analysis report.
But appearing on independent broadcaster Zodiak Television during “a conversation chat” with Gospel Kadzako, Mutharika accused the dishonest media of publishing repeated false story on rotten ministers, saying they had an agenda of their own.
He said when the story is published inaccurate and when media house is asked to retract, they refuse to retract.
“They just refuse, they don’t care. And they keep giving information sometimes that they know is untrue.
“Like this so called seven ministers it is actually false. They don’t exist, but this paper continues to [report about it,” said Mutharika.
He said that is a good example of “irresponsible” journalism.
President Mutharika did not mention the publication he was referring.
The Malawi leader, however, said he is not against freedom of the press.
“I have never been against the press. By the way my early life I was a journalist. All my time at Dedza (Secondary School) I was a correspondent to the only vernacular paper in Malawi called Msimbi. I was correspondent for that [newspaper] for over six or seven years,” he said.
“So I have great respect for journalists, journalism but what I don’t respect is lack of responsibility on the part of some media,” he said.
During the program, he said there people who bribe media practitioners but denied that he has ever paid journalists “thats why I have bad press.”
Revelations of the K577 billion cashgate came hot on the heels of a forensic audit report by British firm, RSM (formely called Baker Tilly), that established that K24 billion was looted from Capital Hill between April and September 2013 under the administration of Joyce Banda and her People’s Party (PP).
Banda is on record saying “ There must be a stubborn link between the MK577 billion scandal of 2009 and 2012 and the MK20 billion cashgate of 2013.”
Corruption in Malawi is severe, well-known, cuts across many sectors, and is frequently debated and discussed in the media.
Such corruption undermines human rights in multiple ways: a direct defiance of the rule of law and accountability. By unlawfully interfering with resources that should be available to realize fundamental rights such as the rights to health, water, food, and education—either through illegally appropriating public funds for personal wealth or rendering access to services subject to bribes, which are illegal—corruption leads to violations of human rights that may have disastrous consequences.
Observers also note that lack of political will has crippled Malawi’s anti-corruption bureau, undermining their efforts through political interference and threats.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :