Joyce Banda likely to sign media accord, says Malawi govt spokesman

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Information Minister Moses Kunkuyu said President Joyce Banda is likely going to sign the Table Mountain Declaration media accord.

Kunkuyu told a packed audience at the NAMISA media awards Saturday event that there was a possibility that the President could sign the Table Mountain Declaration after May 3.

“She may sign,” he said attracting handclapping by the media practitioners.

He said there was a misrepresentation that she was to sign the declaration before May 3 so that it becomes part of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations.

Kunkuyu said the declaration was “very important and in line with the aspirations of government.”

He said the President was a “true defender” of press freedom and the government was building on efforts to achieve a free press.

MISA regional chairman Anthony Kasunda said the Table Mountain Declaration calls upon African governments to respect and uphold freedom of the press by among other things abolishing “insult” and criminal defamation laws which “continue to be applied to harass, arrest and/or imprison media practitioners in most African countries.”

He said the declaration was for the “good of democracy and Malawi as a country.”

Kasunda said even the Access to Information Policy draft which was waiting for principal secretaries to meet and recommend it to cabinet for approval had dragged for over six months because of “government bureaucracy.”

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