Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa)-Malawi has asked government to stop intimidation of independent media and subjecting the sector to due political pressure.
Misa-Malawi Chairperson, Teresa Temweka Ndanga made the call in a statement as part of this year’s World Press Freedom Day commemorations on May 3 2020.
She told government to stop using Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) as a tool of silence and intimidate the independent broadcasters in the country.
Ndanga called on President Peter Mutharika and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party- DPP to stop using the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) as a propaganda tool and mouthpiece for the party in power.
She also asked government to fast-track the implementation of the much-awaited Access to Information (ATI) law.
Ndanga said the delayed implementation of ATI law, intimidation on independent media and lack of safety of journalists are issues that are posing a threat to the country’s development.
She has since asked the Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology, Mark Botomani to propose a date for commencement of the law as it is key in media freedom and freedom of expression especially in this pandemic period.
Ndanga also condemned attacks on journalists and asked the police to investigate and prosecute people involved in the assault, harassment or unlawful detention of journalists and other media practitioners conducting their lawful professional duties.
Commenting on the same, Botomani said journalists also have the responsibility to safeguard their lives when executing their duties the country and further faulted them for favouring opposition party leaders in their reporting.
This years’ World Press Freedom Day is being commemorated under the theme “Journalism without fear or favour”.