Malawi Police arrest Investigative Journalist Gregory Gondwe

Police have arrested Platform for Investigative Journalism (PIJ) Managing Director Gregory Gondwe over a story about Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda that the platform published on March 30, 2022.

Police officers are forcing Gondwe to disclose source of a document the platform used in the story.

Information reaching Malawi24 indicates that police officers have confiscated gadgets including computers and phones from Gondwe.

According to a Facebook post by Golden Matonga, one of the journalists under the organization, the law enforcers allegedly forced them to reveal the source of some documents which were used in a recent article.

Matonga adds that the police officers have also seized computers and phones.

The organisation has been active in the coverage of matters surrounding corrupt bigshots in the country.

It recently published a story based on a leaked legal opinion which the Attorney General Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda provided to the Anti-Corruption Bureau.

The leakage angered Nyirenda who threatened to take legal action against those responsible.

He said: “While we espouse free speech tenets and rights of the press, it is irresponsible to leak my legal opinion on a sensitive matter like this one. I take great exception and I will be taking legal steps against whoever is involved in this kind of conduct.”

The Platform for Investigative Journalism has also been publishing stories about corruption at the Malawi Police, Immigration Department and Malawi Army relating to contracts given to Asian businesspersons.

Reacting to the arrest, Zimbabwean journalist Maynard Manyowa said it is a worrying issue.

“Today is a dark day for Malawi, and signifies the country’s return to Kamuzu Banda’s days. It is worrying because democracies do die. We know this,” he said.

Social commentator Onjezani Kenani said: “We thought we were past the chapter of muzzling journalists.”