MISA Malawi demands apology from Honourable Mchacha for attacking journalist Bobby Kabango
MISA Malawi would like to inform its membership and the general public that it wrote Deputy Minister of Transport and Public Works Honourable Charles Mchacha, MP, demanding a public apology for verbally attacking and intimidating Nation Publications Limited (NPL) journalist Bobby Kabango.
The Chapter also asked Minister of Information, Mr. Mark Botomani, to make a public assurance of President Peter Mutharika’s commitment to media freedom and freedom of expression.
We expect the Mutharika administration, through the Ministry of Information, to disassociate itself from Honourable Mchacha’s conduct and assure the nation that Honourable Mchacha’s actions are not a reflection of government policy to threaten and intimidate journalists working to uphold principles of transparency and accountability in a nation whose constitution guarantees media freedom.
Honourable Mchacha used all sorts of swearwords in a recorded phone conversation with Mr. Kabango who was pursuing a story on how the Deputy Minister allegedly acquired public land in Limbe, Blantyre.
We believe Honourable Mchacha’s actions were a violation of media freedom and freedom of expression and can be construed as an attempt to silence journalists in the country.
We expect exemplary conduct from Cabinet Ministers, including Honourable Mchacha.
We are also in receipt of a letter from the Minister of Information dated January 10, 2020 in which the minister promised to ‘consult’ and handle the matter with the seriousness that it deserves. One month has elapsed without any further communication or action from the ministry.
It is our expectation that we will hear from the two government ministers by Monday, February 17, 2020.
We will keep the membership updated.
About MISA Malawi
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.