Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Vice President, Sidik Mia, has asked Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) journalists to reflect on their professionalism as the country is celebrating the 54th year of self-rule.

Mia, who is an indisputable Malawi’s political heavyweight, said despite having some progress in some areas like in infrastructure, the country is still facing challenges that outweigh what has been achieved since the country attained its independence.

Mia cited abuse of the state broadcaster- MBC- by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) where journalists have been completely dressed the party’s cloth.

He said it is retrogressive for what we call the fourth arm of government to have journalists who spend sleepless nights thinking about what insults to spit at the opposition parties, MCP in particular.

“Since our party, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), brought independence in our country as led by the father and founder of our nation, Ngwazi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda to the present time, it would be unfair and crime against truth to say that the country has achieved nothing,” said Mia.

“At least there is something to smile at. There is some progress in road infrastructure in the country, among other achievements we have achieved. Truth be told, all governments after independence have done a fair job in as far as improving our road network is concerned. This is commendable and we need to part ourselves on the back for this. Not all is lost,” he added.

He, however, agreed with the citizens who say that there is nothing to smile about on this day, arguing their point makes more sense if we look back with clarity and objectivity at the real trajectories in our social, economic and political life.

“Well, let’s examine one last thing we cannot smile about and this is the thing which has touched my heart to make this post. That’s the lack of media ethics and professionalism which has rocked our state controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC).

“As we all know, MBC is a public broadcaster. The workers therein are paid by our tax payers’ money as they are mandated to work for the good of the general public. The broadcaster run on government pulse. As such, Malawians expect non-partisan as they execute their duties. To be impartial in their operation, it’s not a choice but an obligation.

However, under DPP regime, this is not the case. Few MBC workers have voluntarily decided to throw their professionalism and reputation to the dogs. They proclaim and identify themselves as ruling DPP cadets and so they show this character in their words and conduct,” said Mia.

Mia’s stand comes few days after MBC journalists were seen taking a selfie while admiring the DPP flag at the party’s elective convention.

The ruling party is also using Hope Chisanu, who is duly employed by MBC, as master of ceremonies and the journalist divert from his duty several times in his attempt to please the leadership.

Alternatively, Mia said MCP, once ushered into government, will flush-out all partisan journalists at the state broadcaster.

“Those who will be showing signs to be MCP zealots will also be flushed out. We want complete independence and impartiality of MBC and we will not settle for anything short of that. If we want a master of ceremonies for a political party, we better have a party official than to destroy the career of a professional journalist by forcing them to shout party slogans and attack our opponents,” he said.

“So as we celebrate this independence, my free and unsolicited advice to you members in the media fraternity across the board is that you should safeguard your professionalism, reputation and credibility and never allow politicians to use and abuse you. If you allow to be used and abused for a politician’s short gains, you will find yourself not competitive in the long run as the industry captains will be at pain to give you a job,” advised Mia and concluded saying “I have no doubt in my mind or fear in my heart that we can do what is required to make our public institutions vibrant and serve the nation’s interests.”

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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