Acting British High Commissioner Simon Mustard has commended the Malawi’s media, saying it is doing a good job by holding those in authority accountable.
The remarks come amid a stand-off between the Peter Mutharika’s administration and the country’s mainstream private media following accusations of irresponsible reporting.
Speaking during the launch of the Ralph Tenthani Centre for Media Excellence—a media training and development institute established under the Department of Journalism at the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic in honour of late journalist Ralph Tenthani, Mustard described the work of the local media as impressive.
Quizzed by journalists on what the British government makes of the stand-off between the private media and Mutharika, Mustard said there was a general appreciation of the fact that the media is doing its job properly.
“It’s not up to me as a guest in the country to pass judgement on the question on fundamental issues. I can’t say who is right and who is wrong in the relations between the State and the media. But I think the media are doing a commendable job. I am sure the President agrees.
“It’s natural in a democracy for these things to happen; you will disagree from time to time, you will reach different interpretations but what we would like to see as Britain is to see this relation survive those disagreements,” he said.
Unima vice-chancellor Professor John Kalenga Saka said the late Tenthani was an authoritative media voice that used creativity to educate and inform the
Tenthani, a former British Broadcasting Corporation correspondent, who also worked for a number of foreign and local media outlets, was popular for his weekly column Muckraking on Sunday published in Sunday Times. n