Contrary to rumours making rounds on social media, State House says it has not put any restriction to any media house to cover the arrival of President Arthur Peter Mutharika today at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA).
The rumour mill has been falsely accusing State House that it intends to bar all media houses from covering the event in fear of exposing the President who the opposition say is not feeling okay.
However,officials from State House, Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter, Journalists Union of Malawi (JUMA) and Media Council of Malawi (MCM) have all confirmed that there has not been any order to restrict media freedoms during the President’s arrival. Sources from State House have confirmed that some media practitioners made requests to cover the event after getting wind of the unfounded rumours. “The rumours brought unnecessary anxiety so some media houses sought clarification on the matter. We told them as we are also doing now that every media practitioner is most welcome to the event. People wanted to see their President back, why then should we not give the event the best coverage?” wondered one State House official.
Among the media houses that sought clarification were Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS), Power 101 and Times Group.
Media stakeholders themselves have also dispelled the rumours and have confirmed their attendance at the KIA event. “It is just not true and we haven’t received any formal complaint from any media house or practitioner on the matter. As things stand everything is fine and the media will execute their duties as normal,” said a MISA official in an exclusive interview. Media Council of Malawi board member also doubted the rumours saying as far as he is concerned government has not displayed the said intentions towards the media on any presidential function. Reporters from Zodiak and Times Group assigned to the function have also confirmed that their Sunday schedule at KIA is well on track.