President Lazarus Chakwera has condemned the tendency by some Malawians to post false information online, saying such behaviour is costing Malawi’s good image on the international scene.
The President said this yesterday at a press conference in Lilongwe on his arrival from the United Kingdom (UK) where he attended the Global Education Summit.
Chakwera said he learnt with shock that foreign media outlets in the UK were asking him about lies posted online by Malawians.
He said he met foreign nationals in the UK who believed what was posted online that his daughter, Violet, was appointed to a diplomatic mission in Brussels, Belgium.
Chakwera said another lie posted online was that he travelled to attend a virtual meeting in the UK when actually he was invited by the British Government to physically.
He said: “My appeal to Malawians who have a platform on social media and the press, Malawians whose voices are heard by other nationals around the world, whether you like it or not, you are Malawi’s online ambassadors to the world.
“Whatever you say about Malawi on your platform of global reach, is what the world will believe is true. My appeal is that before you write about Malawi for Malawians and send it to the whims of the world, please check, check and check again with primary sources to ensure that is true”.
The President said Malawi, as a young nation and a budding economy, is at a disadvantage on the world stage because rich nations look down and addresses the country in a condescending manner.
He, therefore, explained that any time a Malawian stand on the world stage on behalf of Malawi, no matter how cold the reception from other nations might be, fellow Malawians should not make them feel less Malawian.
“Ever since I took over government, my family has been relentlessly attacked on social media, but I have chosen not to respond. My job is to serve the nation,” Chakwera said.
Commenting on the recent firing of former Attorney General Chikosa Silungwe, the President defended the sacking, saying the decision was based on terms and conditions of the contract.
He said he could not give reasons for his decision to fire Silungwe in respect of the Cabinet portfolio, as he has the authority to hire and fire.
Silungwe was removed from his post last month, a year after his appointment.
While presidential press secretary Brian Banda two weeks ago justified Violet’s appointment merit-based, as Chakwera also denied reports that his daughter, Violet, will take up a diplomatic mission post in Brussels, Belgium.
On the outcomes of the Global Education Summit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Luckie Sikwese said the British Government committed K37 billion in support of girl child education.
Sikwese said government also secured 1 000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Britain, including UK’s commitment to support Malawi to build a green economy by providing clean energy, from solar for example, for the population to stop using charcoal.
During the summit, Chakwera committed that government will provide at least 20 percent of the national budget towards the education sector, a commitment dubbed Uhuru Declaration.