A fierce fight has ensued between Malawi’s leading print media house Nation Publications Limited (NPL) and State House over opinion poll results the former published that opposition DPP’s Prof. Peter Mutharika will win the 2014 elections against incumbent President Joyce Banda. The survey’s results announced in last Sunday’s Nation on Sunday said in the week-long-nationally representative survey, the majority of Malawians said that if elections were held today, they would vote for the DPP president. Steve Nhlane, State House Press Officer, who first dismissed the results as fake has now accused the media house of taking a political stand by endorsing DPP’s Peter Mutharika. Nhlane accused NPL of the tendency of “always endorsing presidential aspirants”, saying the trend began when himself worked with NPL from 1998 as editor for the Weekend Nation.

Presidential Press Secretary Steve Nhlane is angry with the Nation survey not because it is bogus but because his underhand efforts to have President Joyce Banda win it failed.

It has been revealed that Nhlane had asked for funds from the State House kitty which he used to buy low cost Cellphones from Airtel and distributed to staffers and People’s Party loyalists to enable them participate in texting in favour of President Banda.

The information we have is that the staffers and PP supporters were also given free sim cards and free Airtel airtime which they used to vote.

But despite all these efforts by Nhlane, his candidate came third and he thus run out of words to explain his superior’s loss after his earlier assurances that the vote would be manipulated in her favour.

Presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhlane is among a legion of wrong advisors that mislead President Joyce Banda with lies just to guarantee their survivor.

The latest lie from Nhlane, a whole church elder possessing the innocence of a gentleman, is that the publication of the results of a recent survey by the Nation which made Peter Mutharika more electable than JB was reminiscent of a traditio
n at the newspaper to endorse a candidate and support him.

What Nhlane forgot in his falsehood is the fact that the Nation does not endorse candidates any longer. And even at the time it used to endorse them, it never conducted surveys because they are no necessary. Besides, the paper never made it a secret it was endorsing a candidate.

Nhlane wanted to create a false impression that to endorse a candidate is wrong with the aim of discrediting the Nation.

President Banda needs to be told the truth that an opinion poll is not necessary where a newspaper desires to endorse a candidate.

She also needs to know that endorsements are done during campaign.

She also deserves to know that endorsements are not unethical in journalism

She also needs to know that endorsements are part of democracy

She also needs to be aware that endorsements are done openly because they are part of exercise of rights.

Lastly, she needs to ignore Nhlane and understand that what the Nation published were results of a survey, not the paper’s endorsement of Peter Mutharika.

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