LILONGWE (Tamanda Mwale, Malawi NewsNow)- Malawi Chapter of Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-Malawi) has slammed President Peter Mutharika remarks made local media.
President Mutharika on Saturday, March 12, during the ground breaking ceremony of Dae Yang Teaching University hospital in the capital Lilongwe went to town accusing the Malawi media for irresponsible reporting saying it was full of “garbage” and that he stopped reading the local press since February this year like what his predecessor Joyce Banda said on the same in 2013.
“For once, let me agree with Joyce Banda when she said was no longer reading Malawian newspapers. I too stopped reading the local newspapers since February 1 this year because it’s full of garbage’s, particularly The Sunday Times’ columns. I watch MBC TV and other international media houses including CNN and Aljazeera”, fumed the angry Mutharika.
The Sunday Times newspaper cabinet assessment on 28 February 2016 gave Mutharika and most ministers a fail grade.
The cabinet assessment looks at each and every minister including the president individually on what they have achieved and failed to attain upon assuming the office particularly policies direction coupled with action because they are political heads of their various ministries.
The assessment gives scores to each cabinet minister on how they performed in their positions which are put five categories including 1-2 (Do us favour, resign), 2-3 (Pull up your socks, please), 5-6 (Ok, but you can do better), 7-8 (You are a star) and 9-10 (Excellent, you deserve another term).
Through the cabinet assessment 2016 supplement headlined, “struggling cabinet, wobbling economy” the paper stated that all major economic indicators demonstrate that President Mutharika and his cabinet are failing to restore macro-economic fundamentals.
In angry reaction,
Misa Malawi chairperson Thom Khanje who also works at publishers of Sunday Times, the Times Group, described Mutharika’s slur remarks on the media as unfortunate and uncalled for arguing that the media acts a linkage between ordinary people and those in authority for constructive dialogue.
“That’s very unfortunate statement coming from the president as the media speaks for the people such that what’s in the media are voices from the general public and calling such a channel as garbage and would stop reading newspapers. It’s the same saying that the president will stop listening to what his people are saying.
“It’s very unfortunate, regrettable and very bad for him since the nature of his job is surrounded by people he appoints himself whose aim currently is to keep their job not helping the president. They don’t tell the president the truth but rather tell what Mutharika wants to hear. Therefore the media tells the truth on what is happening on the ground with an independent view than advisors.
“What it means now is that the president has closed the way in which people can speak to him indirectly on their concerns, views, problems as the media plays the linkage between President and ordinary Malawians. The public’s concerns including maize shortage, insufficient drugs in public hospitals, teachers low salaries won’t be held by the President who was entrusted with power as the media acts as the mode of communication hence Malawians will continue to suffer”, observed Khanje.
Pressure is daily mounting on President Peter Mutharika to fix the social-economic ills currently Malawians encountering which include maize crisis, insufficient of medical and drugs in public hospitals, high inflation and falling of the Malawi Kwacha which has resulted into skyrocketing prices of goods and services.