Malawi / Africa

  
The government of Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika, pictured, has threatened journalists with fines and arrests for disrespecting him. (AFP/Alexander Joe)

A bad weekend for Malawian journalists

No media outlet critical of President Bingu Wa Mutharika or the ruling Democratic Progressive Party was spared by the government this past weekend — whether print, broadcast, or online. The broadside included a public campaign to discredit the media as well as threats of fines and arrests of critical journalists.

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Attacks on the Press in 2011: Malawi

President Bingu wa Mutharika signed a penal code amendment that allowed the government to ban any publication it deemed “not in the public interest.” Authorities did not immediately use the new tactic, but local journalists said the law’s existence had created a chilling effect. Government officials also made use of court injunctions to silence critical…

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Malawi police arresting protesters. (Malawi Voice)

Malawi cracks down on media covering protests

New York, July 21, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns sweeping arrests and attacks on journalists, as well as censorship by the administration of Malawi President Bingu Wa Muthiraka against media outlets reporting on nationwide antigovernment protests that erupted on Wednesday.

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ZBS' smashed Land Rover. (ZBS)

Assailants destroy Malawi broadcast trucks before protests

New York, July 19, 2011–The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by intimidation of the private Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS) on Sunday and Monday by masked assailants as protests were planned for Wednesday in the capital.

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The president with first lady Callista Mutharika at a G20 summit last year. (AP)

Malawi: A prying press silenced by injunctions

In Malawi, where half the population survives on a dollar a day, it proves wise for the political elite to keep their exorbitant wealth hidden from public scrutiny.  That’s why they appear to be running to the courthouse to file injunctions to silence the press.

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Mutharika (AFP)

Malawi amendment bans news ‘not in public interest’

New York, February 1, 2011–An amendment to Malawi’s penal code, which became law last week, allows the government to ban any publication deemed contrary to public interest for an unspecified period of time, institutionalizing political censorship of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.  On January 26, President Bingu wa Mutharika signed into law an…

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Malawi government bans weekly tabloid

New York, November 1, 2010–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a government ban on the publication of Malawian weekly tabloid The Weekend Times today. In a letter dated October 28, the National Archives of Malawi issued an immediate suspension of The Weekend Times on charges of failing to register the paper, according to news reports.

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Mutharika says he will close newspapers that tarnish his government's image. (Reuters)

Malawian president threatens newspaper closings

New York, August 31, 2010–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns threatening comments made by President Bingu wa Mutharika against Malawian news outlets last week. Mutharika threatened to close newspapers that report critically about his administration after the private weeklies Malawi News and Weekend Nation cited a regional agency’s report forecasting food shortages in the country,…

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Attacks on the Press 2009: Africa Developments

ATTACKS ON THE PRESS: 2009 • Main Index AFRICA Regional Analysis: • In African hot spots, journalists forced into exile Country Summaries • DRC • Ethiopia • Gambia • Madagascar • Niger • Nigeria • Somalia • Uganda • Zambia • Zimbabwe • Other developments BOTSWANA A media law was enacted in January requiring government…

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Villagers gather at Kondesi's radio station. (Zodiak Broadcasting)

The Malawian who harnessed the airwaves

After The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the autobiography of ingenious 22-year-old William Kamkwamba’s homemade electric windmill in Malawi, comes “the boy who harnessed the airwaves” by building a radio station with rudimentary materials. The tale of 21-year-old Malawian Gabriel Kondesi also showcases the inventiveness spawned by life in this impoverished, landlocked nation in southeastern…

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