State House has hit hard on the media following reports that Malawi President Peter Mutharika uses more than twenty vehicles on the presidential convoy.
In a press statement signed by presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalirani, the State House has blasted Daily Times over its editorial of Friday, 27 January 2016 which the presidency believes was tailored to blindfold the public into believing that the number of vehicles on the president’s motorcade is so long that government’s austerity measures are not working.
The statement said the president’s convoy cannot be described as “20 plus” by any media institution that cares about truth.
“The President’s current convoy is often 12 vehicles. The standard convoy constitutes the President’s vehicle and its backup vehicle. There has to be a mobile clinic with medical equipment and nurses, a doctor’s vehicle, one vehicle for mechanics and the rest are security vehicles. However, the yellow journalism of Times tried to magnify this modest dozen-car convoy for an entire Head of State into hyperbolic imaginations simply to create hate in the hearts of Malawians,” reads part of the statement.
Kalirani further warned that Malawians are not interested in the campaign of hate and lies which Times is waging for its political masters and mistresses.
He said a media house of its professional integrity should have cared to know that the president’s convoy is not a new fleet. He continued saying that three quarters of the vehicles were bought in the Bingu wa Mutharika era and were used by former President Joyce Banda as well.
Kalirani also claimed that one of the vehicles, a Land Rover platform, comes all the way from Kamuzu Banda’s motorcade.
“It also beats reason and logic how Times is calculating ministers’ and other officials’ vehicles into the President’s convoy. “Malawians fully well understand that ministers’ and other officials’ vehicles that often travel in advance of the convoy cannot be suggested to be part of the President’s motorcade.
“In any case, Times should wake up from its ignorance and realize that there shall never be a time when a Head of State can attend a national function alone,” said Kalirani in the statement.
Kalirani also claimed that government believes Malawians deserve truth and that the political media strategy being pursued by Times must never be peddled by feeding the public with fabrications.
“If Times wants to continue playing politics more than practicing journalism, let it be politics based on truth,” he said.
The presidential spokesperson added that Malawians appreciate that government’s austerity measures have worked in surviving the economy from a K536 billion deficit inherited in 2014, and through two years of natural disasters without donor budgetary support.
He said: “There has never been a government driven by austerity measures more than that of President Peter Mutharika.”