Journalists in Lilongwe today took the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) leadership to task, confronting party president Lazarus Chakwera over delays whenever the party calls for a press conference.
It has been the ‘behaviour’ of the MCP politburo to come late to any press conference, forcing journalists to wait for more than two hours, in some instances.
And today, the script was the same when Chakwera intended to brief the media on his tour from Portugal where, among others, he was handed over the Vice Presidency for the Christian Democratic Institute (CDI-Africa region).
The press conference was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM, but the media had to wait for a good one-and- half hours before the Chakwera came to the conference room at the party’s headquarters.
And after almost an hour of speeches, in which the party commented on various social-economic developments including the natural disaster that has hit the northern part of the country, tobacco marketing season, and the impending by- election in Mchinji West Constituency, the party opened up the floor for questions.
Nation Publications Limited (NPL) photojournalist Jacob Nankhonya braved the intimidating presence of the party officials to demand answers from the party on why MCP takes journalists for granted by keeping them for hours unattended to every time it calls for a press conference.
“Every time we are invited here for a press conference there are delays of up to two hours, and today, we started after waiting for over one hours and 30 minutes. Is this going to be a norm here?
“I am asking this bearing in mind that poor time management at individual and institutional level has been one of the reasons Malawi isn’t developing. As journalists, we also plan, and any delays inconveniences our plans,”queried Nankhonya.
The question took MCP officials by surprise, and sensing the tension, Chakwera opted to go for damage control straightaway.
“For today, let me take the blame for the delay. I was help up somehow on my way here. I was attending to some pressing issues I cannot give details on right now but I agree it was not fair holding you up like that.
“As a party, we are very sorry. We hope to improve on time management.” Chakwera said.