Taxpayer-funded Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) has removed its head of outside broadcasting, Gloria Banda, from her position effective March 1 2016 for allegedly authoring malicious documents against MBC management and the country’s leadership.
In a letter dated February 29 2016, MBC acting director of administration and corporate affairs Patrick Simango advised Banda: “Exigencies of service require that you should cease performing your duties as Head of Outside Broadcasting with effect from 1st March 2016. This means that you will no longer be responsible for matters pertaining to outside broadcasting in the Programmes Department.”
Simango confirmed writing the letter to Banda but refused to take questions.
On March 14 2016, Simango wrote Banda another letter, summoning her to a disciplinary hearing three days later on March 17 2016 for alleged misconduct.
Read the summons: “It is alleged that while you are an employee of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation [MBC], you have on various dates since 2015, been writing malicious documents against the director general of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation Mr. Aubrey Sumbuleta, the leadership of the country and other fellow members of staff. A copy of the latest article you allegedly authored and circulated has been attached to this charge sheet.”
According to the attached copy, purportedly written by Banda and published by on-line media publication, Nyasa Times, Sumbuleta is accused of messing up MBC and harassing female employees, among others.
In an interview, Banda confirmed receiving the letters and appearing before the disciplinary panel.
She said she was accompanied by her lawyer.
Banda said she submitted a written defence in which she denied the charges as “baseless, malicious and a shameless plot” aimed at tarnishing her image, personality and to jeopardise her work and position at MBC.
She also queried the independence of the committee that would report to the director general. She said since joining MBC in 2006 she has never received any warning and was surprised with her summons.