Chakwera administration accused of intimidating journalists


A rights group says the detention of a Journalist over a news article is an attempt by Dr. Lazarus Chakwera’s government to instill fear in journalists in the country.

The Center for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) has issued a statement in reaction to the detention of Nyasatimes journalist Watipatso Mzungu who was detained by Area 30 Police Lilongwe.

“We look at the detention of Mr. Mzungu as a futile attempt by Dr. Chakwera’s leadership to instill fear in journalists in the country, a development that can easily be construed as a tactic to stifle media freedom and freedom of expression in Malawi,” said CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa.

He reminded the Tonse Alliance Government under President Lazarus Chakwera that Malawi is no longer a one-party state which was characterized by rule of darkness, fear and death.

“Let the Inspector General (IG) for the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and President Chakwera know that Malawians will never be intimidated with such acts by the police, in a democratic state where everyone is supposed to enjoy freedom of expression,” he said.

Mzungu was detained because he wrote a story in which he quoted Namiwa who described President Chakwera as a “joker and a time waster” due to his failure to honour his public promises, such as the announcement of a new cabinet.

The Journalist was released this morning after police took a statement from him.