MISA condemn attacks on journalists over teachers’ risk allowances

Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi chapter and Media council of Malawi (MCM) have condemned some Malawians who are sending threats to Journalists over comments relating to teachers’ risk allowances.

In a statement today, Chairpersons for MISA Malawi and MCM Teresa Temweka Ndanga and Wisdom Chimgwede respectively, condemned the threats.

According to the two bodies, Times Group Editor-in-Chief George Kasakula and Mibawa Television Presenter and Reporter.

Steve Kondwa Banda have been receiving attacks from individuals who are apparently offended by the journalists’ opinions on Covid-19 risk allowance demands by teachers.

“The two journalists are being threatened through phone calls, WhatsApp and Facebook. This is clearly an attack on the media.

“We remind those issuing these threats and attacks that sections 34, 35 and 36 of the Republican Constitution guarantee freedom of opinion, freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

“The threats and attacks on Kasakula and Banda are not only criminal, but a direct attack on media freedom, freedom of expression and freedom of opinion

“We would want to believe that those issuing such attacks are members of the Teachers’ Union of Malawi (TUM).

“We, therefore, urge the Teachers’ Union of Malawi to tame its members before we are forced to take further action,” the two organisations said.

They also reminded TUM and all teachers in Malawi that the media has on innumerable occasions covered stories in the education sector that have positively impacted the teachers’ welfare.

“It will therefore be short sightedness to turn the two sides against each other because of some difference in opinion,” MISA and MCM said.

They then encouraged members of the general public aggrieved or injured by the media in any way to report to and engage MCM; the body entrusted with the responsibility of upholding media professionalism in the country, for redress, rather than resorting to criminal ways of demonstrating dissent.

Kasakula and Banda on two separate programs broadcast on their respective television stations, argued that teachers are not supposed to demand risk allowances once schools resume because they are already receiving monthly salaries despite the closure of all schools in Malawi.

On social media, teachers have been demanding an apology from the two saying the Journalists insulted teachers.

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