The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter has expressed disappointment that President Joyce Banda declined to make commitment to sign to the repeal of insult laws.
Misa Malawi Chapter said the President formally declined to sign the Declaration of Table Mountain as part of the 2013 celebrations to mark World Press Freedom Day.
Last week, Misa Malawi had an audience with the President at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre whose purpose was to request her to consider signing the Declaration of Table Mountain on 3rd May, 2013, the day that marks celebrations of World Press Freedom Day.
Anthony Kasunda, Misa Malawi chairperson, in a statement released on Monday said: “We have, unfortunately, received communication from State House that the President has declined to sign the Declaration. No reasons have been given.”
Presidential Press Secretary Steven Nhlane confirmed the development.
He said: “Yes, I can confirm that Her Excellency Dr Joyce Banda will not sign the Declaration of the Table Mountain before May 3 2013.”
Media leaders across the globe gathered in Cape Town, South Africa in June 2007 under the auspices of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and the World Editors Forum where they made an urgent call to African leaders to consider press freedom as a key to sustainable economic, political, among others.
But Banda has committed to seeing democracy flourish in Malawi by impressing on Parliament to repeal Section 46 of the Penal Code and also removal of VAT on news print and newspapers.