President Lazarus Chakwera has expressed concern over lies spread on social media, saying foreigners believe such lies and the cost incurred by Malawi due to the lies is immense.
Chakwera made the remarks in Lilongwe on arrival from United Kingdom where he attended a Global Education Summit.
The Malawi president said there are many instances where Malawians post information on social media without checking if the information is true or without hearing all sides of the story.
“From this trip alone, I have met a number of foreigners who believe the lie that my eldest daughter is going to Brussels.
“This is because some Malawian Journalists posted the lie online for the world to see, including one who posted on the BBC website,” he said.
He added that that another lie posted online is that the meeting he was attending in the United Kingdom was virtual and that the British Prime Minister was not expected to attend in person.
He said: “Ever since I became president, the number of lies spread about me, the vice president, our families and members of our administration has been relentless. We have chosen to not respond because we vowed to use these offices to serve Malawians, not to defend ourselves,” said Chakwera.
The president then noted that Malawi is a free society hence no one should be intimated or arrested for what they post online. He, however, said that people have the right to sue a person who spread false information about them.
Chakwera, in his speech, also appealed to Malawians to support any Malawian representing Malawi on the world stage.
According to Chakwera, whether the Malawian is a politician, an academic or an athlete, Malawians should stand with the person with pride when they accomplish something good.
“Our instinct should be to proudly own them as ours, not disown them.
“When they are doing something disagreeable, let us contribute to their success by telling them how to improve, not tearing them down,” said Chakwera.
Chakwera also addressed allegations that his delegation included four family members – Chakwera himself, First Lady Monica, daughter Violet Chakwera, and son in-law Sean Kampondeni.
The president argued that, excluding himself and the First Lady, there were only two family members, Violet and Kampondeni, who also work as personal assistants.
He added that if Kampondeni had stayed in Malawi, he (the president) wouldn’t have worked effectively during the trip.
On questions why he has a son in-law as personal assistant, Chakwera argued that Kampondeni has been working with him for over seven years, from the time he was in opposition through the campaign period.
“So, you want me to dump him today because you have realized that he is a family member?” asked Chakwera.