When Benson Tembo was appointed Director General of MBC by President Joyce Banda he spoke with excited speed, making undertakings that have come back to haunt him.

It can be understood that after staying without a job following the expiry of his diplomatic engagements, he wanted to impress his employer he was the right man to clean up the “nonsense” hitherto his appointment.

In his first interview he said with his coming viewers and listeners should expect professionalism at the state broadcaster. In his words, professionalism meant “balanced news stories, no partisan propaganda programmes and featuring of view across the political divide.”

In the view of Benson Tembo, non balanced stories, partisan propaganda programmes, featuring of only the views of a ruling party were unprofessional and this would stop so that Malawians are given what they deserve – a broadcaster that runs according to professional ethics and standards.

Poor Benson! He needs to be given a chance one day to account for his bold promises in terms of what is actually happening at MBC today.

Wherever Benson Tembo is, his words must be heating the temperatures around his collar and bringing untold discomfort to him, that is only if he has got conscience at all.

Because the “nonsense”, in his words, that was happening under the DPP is back. The only difference is that the “nonsense” is being done by different members of staff and in favour of the PP.

The partisan propaganda programmes are back; the non balanced stories are back; only ruling party voices are being featured. Like in the past, if the opposition voice is going to be heard at all, it is to denigrate them.

So where is the change Dr Benson Tembo? Where is the professionalism that you cheekily made noise about?

Hopefully you have learnt your lesson about making statements to impress a politician?

Have you now realised that they are all the same when it comes to abusing MBC?

Or you thought that the change that Amayi promised, with the help of the “holy spirit”, was real?

The holy spirit got so ashamed to be associated with lies; it vanished.

Today we are back to the same “nonsense” that made others unpopular and repugnant!

Have you seen Benson?

Don’t swallow before you chew!

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  22. if you have recently set up your own business,’And even from a sportsmanship point of view,’I’d love to still be racing come 40, America fell out of love with the star???On the night of December 23 1942 a young actress arrived unexpectedly at Charlie Chaplin??s mansion in Beverly Hills He refused to see her Undeterred she waited till the early hours of the morning stripped off her shoes and silk stockings and climbed up a ladder On an upper floor she found Chaplin Pointing a gun at him she announced she was going to commit suicide His response He talked to her for an hour and a half and then took her to bed with himAfterwards Chaplin joked that he??d never before had sex with a loaded gun at his head ??Well?? he told the actress ??this is a new twist??In truth 23-year-old Joan Barry was no stranger to him They??d met the year before when he was 52 and she was one of Hollywood??s many aspiring pretty young actressesSomehow he??d persuaded himself that she had talent and had put her under contract By Joan??s own account it was only then that his ??pawing and mauling?? progressed to sexual relations When she became pregnant she said later he persuaded her to have an abortion even though she??d wanted to keep the child Chaplin was under few illusions about his latest lover Joan would turn up drunk at his home at all hours of the night and once smashed her car in the driveway Eventually he refused to open the door to her at which point she began breaking the windows But their relationship continued And a week or so after the loaded gun incident a guard found her wandering through Chaplin??s garden again with a gun in her hand He confiscated the weapon but on the excuse of wanting to use the lavatory she escaped through a downstairs window A few hours later she was found in the front seat of a car wearing pyjamas her lips smeared with iodine A doctor diagnosed a ??simulated suicide attempt?? and Joan was charged with vagrancy But still she kept harassing Chaplin arriving at his home in May 1943 to confront him with the news that she was once again pregnant Having slipped in through the back door she went upstairs to his bedroom threw open the door ?? and saw a naked woman in his bed Joan promptly had hysterics and ran downstairs where she tried ?? unsuccessfully ?? to slash her wrists She was driven back to her hotel by Chaplin??s butler Chaplin was desperate to expunge the unstable actress from his life Unexpectedly he??d fallen in love with Oona O??Neill the self-possessed and beautiful daughter of American playwright Eugene O??NeillIt was Oona ?? just 17 when she met the ageing star ?? who had been the naked girl in Chaplin??s bed Unlike many of his previous lovers she had always enjoyed a privileged life But she??d set her heart on becoming a film actress ?? and Chaplin had offered to give her acting lessons himselfBefore long she??d moved into his home The age difference was some 36 years but Chaplin??s feelings for her were more powerful than any considerations of common senseAs for Oona according to one of Chaplin??s sons by a previous marriage: ??She worshipped him ?? drinking in every word he spoke whether it was about his latest script the weather or some bit of philosophy??But when Chaplin decided to announce his engagement to Oona who??d just turned 18 it was the final straw for her increasingly unstable predecessor Joan A couple of weeks later Joan??s mother Gertrude filed a suit on behalf of her unborn grandchild naming Chaplin as the father and asking for $2500 a month for the baby and $10000 for prenatal costs Worse still the FBI became involved when they heard about her illegal abortions and four months after Joan gave birth to a girl Chaplin was charged with transporting his underage lover Oona across state lines for ??immoral purposes?? and for conspiring with the Los Angeles police to have Joan imprisoned on charges of vagrancy He was facing a prison sentence of 20 years The trial opened on March 21 1943 Hundreds of people lined the hallways of the courthouse to catch a glimpse of Chaplin on his arrival and press photographers snapped him having his fingerprints taken Chaplin denied all Joan??s claims His lawyer Jerry Giesler recalled that he ??was the best witness I??ve ever seen in a law court He was effective even when he wasn??t being cross-examined but was merely sitting there lonely and forlorn at a far end of the counsel table?? On April 4 to screams and tumult in the courtroom Chaplin was acquitted of all charges But while the criminal case had gone well the civil paternity suit went badly Joan??s lawyer denounced Chaplin as a ??grey-haired old buzzard?? ??a little runt of a Svengali?? a ??debaucher?? and ??lecherous hound?? who ??lies like a cheap Cockney cad?? Turning to the jury he said: ??Wives and mothers all over the country are watching to see you stop him dead in his tracks?? Though the case ended in deadlock at a further trial the following year Chaplin was deemed to be responsible for the child??s welfare The judge awarded the infant girl Carol Ann the sum of $75 a week And though Chaplin was by now happily married to Oona his reputation fell into a steep declineTo make matters far worse he was being accused of being a communist At an Arts For Russia dinner in New York he told guests that ??the Russian purges?? were ??a wonderful thing?? ?? adding that ??the only people who object to communism and who use it as a bugaboo [an object of fear] are the Nazi agents in this country??Chaplin himself always claimed that he wasn??t a communist and it??s difficult to believe that he had either the rigour or commitment to become one For one thing he made a great deal of money out of the stock market ?? and seemed the epitome of the successful self-made man Yet he did possess an angry instinct against injustice and oppression No doubt thinking of his poverty-stricken childhood he said once: ??I??ve known humiliation And humiliation is a thing you never forget?? While facing paternity suits and accusations of being a Red Chaplin embarked on a film about a mass murderer Monsieur Verdoux Perhaps not surprisingly it contains a strain of deep misogyny with female characters largely characterised as harsh loud or foolishFor the first time in his life Chaplin lost money on a film Indeed scattered hissing and booing broke out at the close of an early screening If he??d hoped to confront and quell his critics he??d failed In 1947 a Congressman demanded Chaplin??s deportation on the ground that he was ??detrimental to the moral fabric of America?? Then he learned that he was being investigated by the notorious House Un-American Activities Committee It was a highly dangerous time The committee had vigorously pursued anyone whom it considered to be disloyal or subversive and most of its victims had ended up ostracised In the film industry alone 300 people were blacklisted or boycotted by the studiosChaplin now found himself a much lonelier figure In restaurants some customers would make loud and unfavourable comments about his perceived politics Many of his old acquaintances no longer dared to visit him fearing guilt by association At a New Year??s Eve party a guest actually spat in his faceIn 1952 no longer able to count upon a sympathetic reception in the US, still basking in her selfless love.’ Judd said. but we just had rallies,At 6ft9in, he began weight lifting, although the rate of increase eased to a three-month low in January.


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