Journalists from privately-owned Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) were on Monday barred from attending President Peter Mutharika’s press briefing at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
In an interview on Tuesday, ZBS managing director Gospel Kazako said the media house, which runs a radio and television station, was not even invited to the press briefing.
He, however, said upon learning about the briefing, they went to attend but officials stopped them from entering the State House.
“When we inquired, the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Civic Education said they would get back to us. We don’t know whether the move was deliberate or there was communication breakdown,” said Kazako.
Minister of Information, Tourism and Civic Education Jappie Mhango said he was not aware of the incident.
“This administration is committed to working with all media houses,” he said.
Media Institute for Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi chapter president Thom Khanje described the incident as a setback to media-government relations.
“It’s very unfortunate and unacceptable. Government should not choose which media houses or journalists to work with,” he said.
During Mutharika’s previous news conference on his return from the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), ZBS came under attack from presidential press secretary Gerald Viola, who alleged misconduct by the station during the July 20 2011 demonstrations and the death of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, the following year. n