Journalist Mzungu detained over cabinet reshuffle article

By Our Reporter:

Unconfirmed reports indicate that Nyasa Times reporter Watipaso Mzungu has be detained at Police Headquarters in Lilongwe over a cabinet reshuffle article.

Titled “CDEDI calls Chakwera ‘a Fools’ Day comedian’ for deferring cabinet reshuffle” the article quoted Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) Executive Director Slyvester Namiwa who described President Lazarus Chakwera as a Fools’ Day comedian for deferring indefinitely the release of the new Cabinet.

Our sources who opted for anonymity said Mzungu has been summoned at the National CID office.

In the article, Namiwa claimed that the postponement of the release of the new Cabinet has vindicated his organization’s fears that Malawians have “have a time waster and a joker in the high office of the presidency”.

“It was on 19th February 2021 when social media outlets were all awash with photos of Dr. Chakwera and the Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima, apparently scrutinizing the Cabinet. On Tuesday, 30th March 2021, the State House was quoted as having announced that a cabinet shake up was in the offing and that a new list of cabinet ministers would be announced within 24 hours. Come Wednesday, 31st March 2021, President Chakwera tells Malawians that he still needs more time to scrutinise the results of the cabinet assessment report which was submitted to him by Dr. Chilima a few days ago,” said Namiwa.

He reminded Chilima and Chakwera that Malawians were tired of the comedy acted by the people they elected to spearhead the national socio-economic transformation agenda.

“What Malawians are anxiously waiting for from the two leaders are results, results, and results, and not jokes befitting Fools Day, which is 1st April,” said Namiwa.

The Atlas Malawi has reached out to National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera for a comment.

Meanwhile, CDEDI has condemned the police action saying Malawi is no longer a one-party state which was characterised by rule of darkness, fear and death.

“We are concerned with the detention and subsequent intimidation of Mr. Watipaso Mzungu who writes for a number of news outlets including Nyasatimes.

“According to our findings, Mr. Mzungu was detained simply because he wrote a story in which he quoted the CDEDI Executive Director, Mr. Sylvester Namiwa who described President Chakwera as a joker and a time waster due to his failure to honour his public promises, such as the announcement of a new cabinet.

“We look at the detention of Mr. Mzungu as a futile attempt by Dr. Chakwera’s leadership to instill fear in journalists in the country, a development that can easily be construed as a tactic to stifle media freedom and freedom of expression in Malawi.

“Let the Inspector General (IG) for the Malawi Police Service (MPS) and President Chakwera know that Malawians will never be intimidated with such acts by the police, in a democratic state where everyone is supposed to enjoy freedom of expression.

“It is for this reason that CDEDI is challenging government that Malawi will never slide back to dictatorship and that CDEDI and it’s leadership will never retreat or surrender.

“We shall always endevour to safeguard our hard earned democracy which Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vehemently opposed in 1992,” reads part of the statement signed by Namiwa.

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