Parliament fights Malawi media as opposition seeks to give MBC K1

Parliament on Wednesday turned into a boxing arena and the punching bag as the government and opposition legislators battled over media professionalism and ethics as well perceived poor parliamentary coverage.

Hara: All journalists covering parliament should be vetted

Making his contribution on Media, Information and Communications parliamentary committee report, Chitipa south MP Werani Chilenga accused journalists covering the House proceedings of unprofessionalism, unethical and towing political party line when covering parliament.

He gave an example of the issue of the K4 billion the government set aside for development in various constituencies, saying the issue was distorted and blown out of proportion.

“The whole House agreed to have the money for development purposes but some section of the media portrayed as if the money was to be given to individual MPs. It is not surprising that some honourable members started changing tunes after these distorted media reports,” he said.

He said this was not the kind of reporting parliament wants, saying the House was a law making arena not a news making arena.

Chilenga then asked the National Assembly to fast track the opening of its own radio and television.

Mzimba Solola MP Jacob Hara suggested all journalists covering parliament should be vetted for their competency.

He gave an example of the state run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) which he said favours the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) in its news coverage.

“When we complain of bad journalism at MBC, we are referred to Macra (Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority). When we go to Macra, they send us to MBC. I do not see why Macra fears MBC or why MBC is larger than Macra,” he said.

He therefore said he would not vote for any money to go to MBC.

Nkhotakota north east MP Martha Lunji Chanjo said denying MBC money was not a solution to the problem.

She alleged that private owned media houses, Zodiak and Times are also biased towards the opposition and suggested that parliament summons the management team to reprimand them.

But the chairman of the parliamentary Media Committee said the House is interested in MBC because it uses tax-funded money.

“This House passes the budget for MBC, we give them public money so that they cover all parties equally, professionally and ethically,” he said.

He said parliament has limits on how to reprimand the private media, saying the owners use personal money and can decide what news to carry in their media outlets

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Mesimadzi
Guest
Mesimadzi

While others are buffled with the bringing in of private media houses into MBC debate, I for one I am not buffled. I cannot understand the Parliamentally Media Committee Chairmaperson’s reasoning that the house was concerned with MBC because it uses public money. I can only describe his reasoning as irrational. May be he was out of his mind, otherwise all along I have been holding Hon Kawale in very high esteem. The issue under discussion was professionalism and not funding. Was the said committee implying that if you use private resources then you are licensed to be unprofessional and… Read more »

NYAKULA NDI NG'ONA
Guest
NYAKULA NDI NG'ONA

Ine ndikuti to hell with MCP, over my dead body! Those supporting it were not there in the70’s or 80’s. Ambiriwa ndi mayuthi. Analiko anzanu a Youth enieni, a imvi koma ali mayuthi, mukudziwa zimenezo inu! Enafe azibale athu anasowa for good chifukwa chake akuti chotsegula shop on 3rd March. Basi nkutenga munthu nkukadyetsa ng’ona, mpaka lero munthu kulibe. Kumetanso kutikaniza, ati tikangoyerekeza kupanga mwambo wometa atimanga..Zoonadi sapita kawiri, continue the fight MBC, achuluka kusapota MCP ndi ana, they don’t know what was there in those days. Ndipo it’s my prayer that there shouldn’t be something called MCP ruling Malawi… Read more »

Kale
Guest
Kale

John Tembo played that game of giving MBC K1 but he ended up losing the battle because like current proponents, he was not honest about really wanting MBC to be freed. If Tembo like today’s proponents got into power, they would abuse MBC the same way.

Omex70
Guest
Omex70

Please, Members of parliament listen to our cry. Shut down this thing callled MBC. Let Sumbuleta, Phillip Bussiness, Hope Chisanu and other equally stupid journalists at MBC go and start their DPP Radio. Weare tired of this thing called MbBC. It’s not relevant in Multipatty Dispensation.

Chikoka
Guest
Chikoka

MPs themselves are weak. They should summon both Macra and MBC to tell them to do their work

ANALYST
Guest
ANALYST

Why and how people bring in the issues of private media houses (like Times and Zodiak) in the debate of MBC’s bias baffles some of us! Is it not clear and straightforward that MBC uses our taxes and that Zodiak, Times, and other private media do not get any taxes from us? This nonsense must stop! Let whoever gets our taxes account for those taxes – period

Chikoka
Guest
Chikoka

Correct. We have nothing to do with Zodiak or Times. These are commercial media. They can do anything. They are there to make a profit. They exist to make money.
MBC is a public broadcaster. It is there to serve the public. It is funded by you and me through taxes. Aubrey Sumbuleta and his whole team are very unprofessional and useless. My prayer is that once DPP leaves office nx year, the incoming government should advertise for the post of Director General so that a professional person is recruited and change things at MBC.

Youna
Guest
Youna

MBC ikufunika kuigulitsa ikungotithera ndalama, misonkho siilipiranso chonsecho ma program ake ndi phala lokhalokha.

Phwisa
Guest
Phwisa

MBC is a public broadcaster. If it has programmes which do not please MCP it does not mean that others are also not being pleased. I enjoy ‘Sapita Kawiri” teaches me of how bad MCP was.

LEGO
Guest

The problem with MBC is our own parliamentarians whether from opposition or government.Those from government MP’s i have never seen them voting against the government even if the boss says we are going to kill your children the answer you hear from them is YES BWANA and for the opposition ones,once they have been bought and given money they always vote in favour of the government even if the bill is a bad one.Lets wake up Malawians for how long should we be debating about this stupid MBC?

wapaphata
Guest
wapaphata

ine ndine Mlomwe weniweni wa pa phata. ndimasangalala ndikamaona a lhomwe anzanga akuwerenga nkhani pa MBC TV ngati steve Maseya , a Malopa ndi ena otero . MBC apatseni K1 billioin Kwacha osati K1 chonde ma MP ndimvereni

che nnungu
Guest

We dont need MBC in Malawi now. Its a waste of Tax payers money. Close it and open a school of journalism there

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