Times, the publisher of Malawi News, has come under fire from Malawians over its story connecting a terrorist attack in Kenya to Malawi.
The story that appears on the front page of today’s Malawi News uses the opinion of a South African analyst Izak Khomo who claimed that Al-Shabab, the group that carried out the attack in Kenya, recruits Malawians.
Khomo did not provide any evidence to support his defamatory claims but Times used his thin connection to claim that Malawi has been “implicated in Kenyan terror”, referring to the Tuesday terrorist attack by Al-Shabab who killed 21 people at DusitD2 Hotel in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
Malawians are not happy with the Times report saying the story has far reaching consequences for people in the country.
On Facebook, renowned social commentator Onjezani Kenani described the story as “sensational, untrue and totally uncalled for”.
Kenani also questioned Times’ use of one man’s opinion to conclude that Malawi was involved in the terror attack.
“If the President of Kenya had accused Malawi of sponsoring terrorism I would have agreed with your headline.
“Even if, for argument’s sake, some of the Al Shabaab members were to be from Malawi, how can mentioning such a fact mean Malawi is implicated?” he wrote.
Commenting on the issue, Timothy Sandram said: How much of a respected opinion leader is this so called producer that his reckless allegation could find itself on front page of our national weekend paper? Is the allegation based on solid facts? Really?”
Other Malawian’s also condemned Times for its “irresponsible” reporting saying such a story will cause damage to Malawi.
“If the US intelligence get this on their Radar, expect tough Visa vetting for Malawians. A very irresponsible headline! Like seriously!” said Thokozani Kapiri.
“This has dire consequences on Destination Image,” chipped in another Malawian.
Meanwhile, Kenani the social commentator has called on Times to withdraw the story and publish an apology on its front page.
He said: “This headline needs to be withdrawn on a front page with an apology. There are far-reaching consequences when a country begins to be associated with terrorism.”