Friday, August 27, 2010

President Bingu wa Mutharika bullies Malawian newspapers

President Bingu wa Mutharika has warned newspapers against publishing what he termed 'outright fabrications', saying he will not hesitate to arrest journalists ad close down such newspapers.
Mutharika accused some Malawian newspapers of being 'sent' by donors, saying the donors 'can as well pack up and go'.
Mutharika, who is chairperson of the African Union, said even the United States government can allow tolerate 'lying newspapers' though the country claims to be the epitome of democracy.
"I will you down, I will close you down. Whatever others say, I don't care. This is my country," said a visibly angry Mutharika during the opening of Malawi's National Agriculture Fair in Blantyre.
Over 80 exhibitors are taking part, 32 of which are farmer groups. This year, the fair has also welcomed Zimbabwean exhibitors, signaling the fist time foreigners have participated at the largely local products event.
Mutharika's threat poses yet another challenge to press freedom. Already, his government has for the past six years frustrated the enactment of an influential freedom of information bill crucial to safeguarding media freedom.

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