Minister of Information and Communications Technology Malisoni Ndau is against the decision taken by private media houses in the country to stop covering stories about President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and his Cabinet Ministers, saying the media houses have over reacted.

On Monday representatives of various private media houses met at Mount Soche Hotel in the commercial capital Blantyre where they came up with a Mount Soche Declaration.

In the decalaration , the media noted “the worrying trend being championed by the State House and President Peter Mutharika with a view to limit the media space in the performance of our duty which is to enlighten the public on how it is being governed.”

They have threatened to boycott news conferences organised by State House for the Head of State, saying what happens at the State House is not a press conference but a press rally.

They also said they will hand President Mutharika and his Cabinet ministers a news blackout unless press freedom is guaranteed.

Speaking in an interview with the press, Ndau pleaded with private media houses to reverse the decision, saying such a stand will not help matters at all.

“That is not the way to go about solving problems that are there and between the President and the media. Whoever is pushing for this declaration is not doing a positive thing, the media is over reacting,” he said.

Ndau asked media house representatives to go for a round table discussion to iron out the differences rocking the two parties.

President Mutharika has been attacking the independent media, particularly Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) and Times Group, over their alleged “disgusting and unprofessional reporting” of his health at the time he “disappeared” after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in United States of America (USA).

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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