State House on Saturday blocked two Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) reporters, George Mkandawire and Alepher Mushani from covering President Lazarus Chakwera’s engagement with the private sector at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.
Mkandawire and Mushani, stationed at Television Centre and Radio, respectively, were part of the MBC crew [comprising technicians, cameramen and engineers] that was assigned to cover the interface meeting and their names were duly sent to State House media team to arrange their gate pass in line with security protocols.
Information Nyasa Times have gathered indicates that the two were rejected by State House Head of Media Marketing, Martha Chikuni and Presidential Press Secretary, Brian Banda.
“The two reporters are appearing on the list of MBC reporters considered to be opposition symphasizers. State House, particularly those handling the media blacklisted some individuals at MBC and does want to see them near Chakwera.
“It’s unfortunate that as they are perceived that way when, ordinary, they are just following orders from their bosses, especially Diary Managers,” said one of the sources, adding that they were replaced by Breatrice Juma, who was advised to file for both radio and television centre.
Nyasa Times also understands that State House has instructed the the appointments of Angel Chima and Patricia Sundu as Controllers of VVIP events, TV and Radio, respectively.
They have replaced Hope Chisanu and will be assisted by Catherine Kunje.
“Most members of staff were surprised because they expected some change and abolishment of positions that are not recognised in the statutes of the Corporation.
“The position of the Controller of VVIP, always given to government of the day’s errands boys, does not exist and people at MBC expected the promised sanitization to end the culture of creating positions for the chosen few,” explained the source, privy to dealings both at State House and MBC.
The source further disclosed that the Presidential Press Secretary also nearly blocked Isaac Jali, Lilongwe-based MBC reporter, from traveling with President Chakwera to Tanzania on the premise that he is pro-opposition.
However, Jali was subsequently allowed to travel and cover the Malawi leader in Tanzania following the intervention of Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima.
“Chikuni and Banda want to be working with a curtail they have created at MBC being led Angel Chima, who is also recommending reporters to cover Chakwera’s events,” he claimed.
Barely days after Tonse Alliance took over the Presidency from Peter Mutharika, a directive was made for Steven Maseya, Hope Chisanu, Barbara Mwandira, Marie Tsegula and Greyson Chapita, among others, not to be on MBC TV or radio until further notice.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :