The government of Malawi through Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education denied media reports that it is interfering with the operations of Malawi Press Corporation, saying the reports are there to tarnish the image of Government and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Minister of Information Jappie Mhango who is also government spokesperson was responding to the article that hat appeared in the Malawi News of 12 March 2016 titled, “Trouble at Press”.

The article accused the ruling DPP of taking full control PCL by hiring Party gurus o siphon money from the conglomerate to be used in the campaign for the forthcoming 2019 general elections.

But Mhango trashed the article, saying some senior Management at PCL are to blame for the mess and not the presence of any DPP functionaries on the PCL Board.

“Press Trust owns PCL and has several shareholders. When vacancies occur on the Board of Trustees, it is the remaining Trustees who appoint new Trustees to self-perpetuate the Board. It is also Trustees who appoint Members to the Board of PCL. The Board of Press Trust has always been more Malawi Congress Party (MCP) than any other party. It has certainly never been more DPP in orientation.

“Currently, the Trustees include the MCP Treasurer General, Mr Tony Kandiero, and Hon Nancy Tembo, who is a former MCP Parliamentarian, as well as an MCP nominee on the Malawi Electoral Commission. Also on this Board are Dr George Kayambo and Mrs Chioko who are certainly not DPP sympathizers,” said Mhango.

Mhango said the appointment of the current Group Chief Executive 14 years ago which never went through board interviews or other proper legal channel raises a lot of questions.

“The two new Trustees are not DPP functionaries or sympathizers. Prof Peter Mwanza, who was just appointed to the Board of PCL is no longer a DPP member. He joined the Peoples Party (PP) and was a Cabinet Minister after the death of Late Bingu. He has never returned to the DPP.

“Therefore, the allegation that Prof Mwanza and Mr Chidyaonga participated in the decision to appoint the two new Trustees, and their own appointment is an outrageous fabrication. The news reporter was corrected in the same article by the Chief Executive Officer of Press Trust, but he ignored that fact. This is mediocre journalism and we condemn it wholeheartedly. Therefore, the suggestion that these current Board appointments are part of a DPP plot to snatch and control PCL as their financing instrument is an ill-conceived absurdity,” said Mhango.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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