Freelance journalist Raphael Tenthani on Wednesday donated the K50 000 (about $100) ‘allowance’ he received last week after attending a media interface with President Peter Mutharika at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre to the special fund created to assist veteran journalist Limbani Moya’s kidney transplant in India.
Speaking after presenting the donation to the fund’s chairperson Anthony Kasunda, Tenthani said he decided to donate the money because journalists did not deserve the allowance for just attending the meeting.
Said Tenthani: “We were given the impression that we are going to receive a booklet detailing President Mutharika’s vision of a free press in Malawi only to discover the package included a blank notepad, a pen and an envelope containing K50 000.
“I would like to believe that the money was given in good faith and, in my view, it would have been disrespectful to return it. But I believe we did not deserve it.”
In his remarks, Kasunda thanked Tenthani for the donation and urged others for more assistance to enable Moya receive the treatment.
Limbani, who flew to India on November 20 2014, requires an extra K1.25 million (about $2 500) to finance his anti-rejection injection bill.
Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa announced during the presidential meeting that before leaving the palace journalists should collect a folder supposedly containing Mutharika’s vision for a free press in Malawi.
But the folders contained an embossed folder with the President’s insignia, a blank notepad, Mutharika’s personalised pen and an envelope containing the cash.
After realising that the folder had K50 000, Weekend Nation editor George Kasakula returned the envelope to the responsible officials.