Chakwera assures media fraternity of govt’s commitment to promoting press freedom

By Chisomo Phiri

President Dr.Lazarus Chakwera has assured the  media fraternity in the country of his government’s continued commitment to promoting press freedom.

He made the assurance on Thursday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where he hosted journalists to a Presidential Breakfast in commemoration  of today’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD).

While acknowledging the valuable work journalists do to uphold human rights and expose corruption scandals, he also emphasized the significance of media sharing positive and compelling stories about Malawi.


“I appeal to you to use press freedom to tell better stories that inspire the world. It is important to avoid portraying Malawi as a nation without means. Malawi needs to deepen itself bravery and that can be achieved through positive reporting,” he said.

The president dismissed claims of ordering law enforcement agencies to arrest or intimidate journalists.

Said Chakwera:”I know that in the past year, some misguided law enforcement agents have tried to damage Malawi’s international reputation, as a place where the press is free to publish what it likes. And some of you have fallen for the lie that such misguided police abuses are melted out with orders from here [orders from above]. But I can assure you that I have never issued orders to the police to arrest anyone, much lesser a journalist, because such an order will be a violation of the very Constitution that I swore an oath to protect.”

In his remarks, Minister of Information and Digitalisation, Moses Kunkuyu Kalongashawa, applauded journalists for their active role in ensuring good governance.

He emphasised that the government will continue fostering access to information and ensure no journalist is unjustly detained.

He also encouraged journalists to report on government initiatives, activities, and projects such as the Agriculture, Tourism, Mining (ATM) Strategy, increased allocation of Constituency Development Fund (CDF), and infrastructure development.

On her part, Vice President for Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi Chapter, Chisomo Ngulube commended President Chakwera for extending the invitation for the third consecutive time, describing it as remarkable.

She said through these engagements, President Chakwera has transformed the culture of how Press Freedom Day celebrated among the media fraternity in the country.

Ngulube also appealed to the President Chakwera to ensure journalists’ protection during the upcoming General Elections to safeguard their freedom.

WPFD is held on May 3 every year to remind governments of the need to respect their commitment to press freedom.

It is also a day of reflection among media professionals about issues of press freedom and professional ethics.