Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The Malawi Government Speaks on World Press Freedom Day
Government would like to re assure the media that it is still committed to ensuring respect for media freedom and freedom of expression in the country. Furthermore, the current leadership highly values the constructive checks and balances that the media provide towards decision making processes by those in authority.
The current administration will therefore strive to ensure protection and promotion of the rights of journalists in their daily operations in this democratic dispensation. Government will in no way make decisions that seek to suffocate the media freedom as rightly enshrined in the country's constitution under Sections 34, 35 and 36.
In addition, government still stands by the positive steps it took such as the scrapping off of the undemocratic and draconian laws such Section 46 of the Penal Code and a further commitment for the passing of the Access to Information Bill. This is in view that only well informed citizens can make informed decisions.
The awarding of broadcasting licenses for radios and TVs aims at giving Malawians a wide variety of information sources so that they can fully enjoy their right/freedom to choose which source to use, whenever they want and government pledges to continue with this.
As government, we further realize that the country's vision to recover the battered economy would be in vain if the media is left out or suppressed.
Realizing the media's significance to national development agendas, President Dr. Joyce Banda's administration pledges to maintain the current cordial relationship with the media. It will continue holding consultative meetings with media managers on issues affecting them and the nation at large.
President Dr. Banda, whose administration is built on openness and inclusiveness, will continue making decisions that ONLY meet the inspirations of Malawians after thorough consultations with various stakeholders.
The media's significance is evident on among others, how it handled the Lake Malawi issue which we can proudly say is a won battle because of among others, the media who did a great job in telling the world the whole story about Lake Malawi and why it rightly belongs to Malawi.
In conclusion, the government is appealing to media managers to continue engaging government constructively on issues that have a bearing on Malawians and its Sovereign image on the international community.
The government would like to ask the media continue working professionally and we commend the skills that local media has demonstrated in avoiding sparking debates that have the potential of causing confusion and distortion of facts.
MOSES KUNKUYU, MP
MINISTER OF INFORMATION