Malawi leader’s ‘bribe’ to private media continues: Maverick presenter Brian Banda appointed Press Secretary
BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—In his apparent resolve to buy the local media, Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera, after appointing Managing Director of Zodiak Broadcasting Corporation (ZBS) Gospel Kazako as information minister, has also appointed vocal journalist Brian Banda of Times Group as State House Press Secretary.
The appointment is with immediate effect according to a press statement released on Saturday by the State House Director of Communication and Executive Assistant to the president, Sean Kampondeni.
Chakwera has also appointed Overstone Kondowe as Special Advisor on People with Albinism and Disabilities; Reverend Brian Kamwendo and Sheikh Hashim Abbas, Special Advisor and Deputy Special Advisor on Religious Affairs respectively.
Solomon Kavuta is the Director of ICT while Martha Chikuni of Thyolo District is the Head of Media Markting.
Assistant Aide-De-Camp post has gone to Major Precious Mahara Gausi
Brian Banda, who was also at the State House during the regime of Joyce Banda and her People’s Party, is a fierce critic of the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and its president Arthur Peter Mutharika.
During Times TV talk show, Hot Current, which is popular in Malawi, Banda together with Times Group Editor-in-Chief George Kasakula seized any opportunity to criticize, ridicule and insulting the former president for any wrong doing while advancing the interests of the then opposition Tonse Alliance, a combination of Malawi Congress Party (MCP), UTMand seven other briefcase parties.
Banda was at some point dismissed from work and forced to resign following accusation of professional misconduct. It was alleged that Banda solicited bribes from a political part top official.
DPP supporters also attacked the maverick presenter prior to the fresh presidential election at Mount Soche Hotel when DPP Presidential candidate Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika and his running mate Atupele Muluzi were presenting nomination papers to Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) officials.
With the incorporation of all vocal private media pundits in Chakwera’s administration, the idea of liberating the state owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation remains a political gimmick by the Tonse Alliance government which now seems to have ascended to power unprepared following a series of blunders in decision making on matters of national interest.
So far, the country’s citizenry banks on the online media and other small electronic media houses to hold the Chakwera administration accountable.