Paramount Chief Kyungu of Chitipa and Karonga has cautioned Malawian journalists to avoid reporting and publishing sensational material that will fuel animosity ahead of the June 23 court-sanctioned presidential election re-run.

Kyungu said this at a press briefing held at Karonga Museum on Sunday aimed at refuting and distancing himself from an article that appeared in The Weekly Globe newspaper dated Friday, May 15 to Thursday May 21, 2020 with a screaming headline ‘North ready to vote for APM in large numbers’.

The paper quoted Kyungu as having said this at the elevation of Traditional Authority (T/A) Nthalire to senior chief in Chitipa on May 5.

“All what appeared in that particular paper is a total lie and fabrication. I never said that the people of the North will vote in large numbers for President Arthur Peter Mutharika. In the first place, I am not a Paramount Chief of the whole Northern region, I am not a politician, I am not the spokesperson for the people of the North. What this particular reporter wrote over stepped his journalism jurisdiction,” he said.

In an interview, TA Kalonga added that all Paramount Chief Kyungu asked for from the deputy Minister of Local Government Jeffrey Grezelder was to relay a message to President Peter Mutharika to pay a visit to his “sons and daughters” in Chitipa and Karonga.

“I was there myself. Paramount Chief Kyungu never said anything on presidential elections. Let the reporter bring the audio clip that he interviewed Kyungu where he uttered that people in the North are ready to vote for APM in large numbers,”” challenged Kalonga.

Graced by T/As Kilupula, Mwakaboko and Kalonga, Kyungu asked the reporter, editor and the publisher of the article to retract the story and issue an apology.

However, Madalitso Phiri, a Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) stringer, the author of the said article denied having written the story, saying his article he posted on MEC google forum never mentioned anything to do with that headline, adding “I have a copy of that.”

The Weekly Globe newspaper editor Charles Suwedi tossed this reporter to Lomme Chavula who asked for more time to crosscheck facts before commenting.

However, Media Council of Malawi (MCM) executive director Moses Kaufa described the development as unfortunate, saying if indeed the publication quoted the traditional leader out of context then the editor has to issue an apology to the chief, saying as gate keepers of information, it is bad to publish news that is contrary to the source to manipulate people’s’ minds.

Source: MEC Stringer


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