There have been major changes in positions and work stations of several employees at the highly-politicized Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and Ministry of Information, orchestrated by the new Principal Secretary (PS) at the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture, Chimwemwe Banda.
Banda who was Director of News and Programmes at MBC until 2012, is renowned for describing an MBC presenter as “ugly” that year, which attracted widespread condemnation.
When the new People’s Party (PP) administration came to power in April 2012, Banda was deployed to Ministry of Health as Deputy Director.
On the return of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) following the May 20, 2014 General Elections, the former broadcaster has now been promoted to the position of PS in the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Culture where she is now “wreaking havoc”, according to insiders.
“She has taken a retaliatory approach in her way of managing matters at the Ministry and line departments. There have been reshuffling and redeployment of many staff members perceived to be PP sympathizers. It’s a terrible scenario we’ve here,” said a senior official in the Ministry of Information. She prefered anonymity for fear of reprisals.
Recent developments at MBC, at the instigation of PS Banda, have seen the transfer of senior journalist Peter Makawa, a self-acclaimed DPP sympathizer, from MBC TV (Lilongwe Studio) to Mema MBC Studio. He is reportedly contesting the transfer and has threatened to quit should management stick to the decision.
Another veteran journalist on transfer is Charles Vintulla. He has been posted to Mzuzu’s Kaning’ina Studio from Lilongwe. He works for MBC TV.
Vintulla’s wife, Lisa, a senior photojournalist at the Department of Information in Lilongwe has been sent on a forced leave alongside another photojournalist, Felix Washon, on unspecified grounds.
In Mzuzu, Charles Vintulla will replace Dalitso Chimwala who has been posted to Mangochi. Chimwala will be joined by a Blantyre-based senior reporter, Ronald Amosi, while another Blantyre-based senior reporter, Blessings Kanache will have to go a bit farther to Karonga.
Journalist Vincent Khonyongwa has been promoted to the position of Controller of News at MBC Radio. He replaces Mervis Senga.
Mgeme Kalilani is now Controller of News at MBC TV, replacing Emmanuel Thuwala.
The first casualties of the new regime at MBC were Wellington Kuntaja and Hamilton Chimala, Directors of News, and Programmes, respectively. Chimala is now at the Ministry of Agriculture as a Deputy Director while Kuntaja heads the Information Department in the South and is based in Blantyre.
MBC Director General Dr. Benson Tembo also faced the chop. He is now seeing his contract, which ends in April, through at MACRA.
Inexperienced Aubrey Sumbuleta, who served as deputy Director General since December, has replaced Tembo. Sumbuleta’s professional credentials are highly suspect, according to insiders at MBC.
Meanwhile, former Nation Publications senior journalist, Gideon Munthali has been appointed as Deputy Director at the Ministry of Information. He was initially earmarked for the position of Presidential Press Secretary before the appointment was cancelled following revelations that the appointment was influenced by Chimwemwe Banda, his relative, and the Minister of Information, Kondwani Nankhumwa, his close friend.
The position of Press Secretary fell vacant recently when Frederick Ndala was unceremoniously removed and redeployed to the Ministry of Information as a ‘Director’.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :