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Thursday, September 25, 2008

A snake from UDF

I have never laughed so hard and felt sad the next moment. Politics can turn anybody into a caricature or simply a cartoon. I have had a chat with Dr. George Chaponda about many things, the worst I expected this seasoned Internationalist is to dramatise the alleged biting of Village Headman Sosola whom MBC has found a new story in him to demonise the UDF.

I have been doing research on ethics and other forms of Journalism but I deliberately ignored MBC because there is nothing there to analyse. Everyday the station sinks to its worst form of what used to be the pride of the nation.

Working for MBC was a pride, everywhere people knew you, announcers such as late Mwala Moyo and my teacher Davies Mussa made their own names and were household celebrities. I happened to live in Nkolokosa when Mussa and Mwala were in the township. I still cherish the waves we got from them every time they knocked off.

I can recall their programmes and words uttered some 27 years ago. Mussa used ‘kumeta maliro’ to describe the games of the weekend and he was a fun of cheek to cheek and I still recall some of the songs he played in greetings by post card.

For Mwala, I felt pity for one new broadcaster to steal his ‘bulu’ antics and even some of his jokes. Mwala was original and we all agreed we lost a great broadcaster.

When it comes to news reading, the late Prescott Gonani told me to start with Zimene new zalemba’ though I could do radio reports. That was when standard and quality was the word.

No reporter celebrated a political report; we all tried to run to developmental stories to avoid unethical reporting that someone used to propagate. You never got punished because of not doing ‘political stories.” Today best reporters at MBC are being sidelined only to promote the stoogies of one man!

I have argued before that political propaganda has been on MBC since its birth, but today Malawi is left in a shock mood with the majority opting not to listen to it in preference to smaller stations.

Prime time such as for Likaomba wotheratu which used to provide tips and relaxation to people driving back home have been swallowed by programmes such as Mizwanya.

Since last week, MBC has made an issue out of Sosola who claims to have been bitten by a mysterious snake that he suspects to have come UDF Governor and an aspirant for the Parliamentary position.

Malawi laws say that anybody accusing someone of witchcraft is supposed to be arrested. I find it very unusual for a State Broadcaster to spend all its valuable resources on “black magic” simply to fight imaginary political enemies.

I have argued before that it is not how much mud you throw at UDF that will make this Government succeed, it is how much of work that one does to acquaint himself with the people that convinces people to vote for your candidate.

Dr. Ntaba is quoted in today’s bulletin that a snake entered his home during the third term debate and he suspected it to have come from UDF.

I am glad that through such careless reporting, it has just revealed that we have witchdoctors, witches and wizards in our political system.

Ntaba claims he does not believe in magic, but he is convinced that UDF is magical. Nawema is also claims to believe in magic games but he is sure that an accident he had is from UDF.

Now seriously, where are we taking our Journalism to, I know some people have nothing to loose by making all Journalists in Malawi look like cartoons. I said the other time, these are the people who will tell you that I can be bought for K10, 000, K50, 000 or even K1 million.

Journalists that I know have striving businesses, have some of the best cars obtained from bank loans and many are even well to do from their families.

I for one, challenge anyone to bring their monies in exchange of professional integrity and will get their right dosage!

The snake bite from UDF makes our politicians look as good as cartoons as they have been always. I don’t like it when someone transfers that to Journalists I grew up respecting. I hope the young ones being used by that gentleman will grow not to regret their decisions today.

I worked for the station which today does not resemble anything that one could be associated with.

By the way, I went to a UDF primary in City Centre constituency. Apart from the fracas, I was quite shocked that the party has managed to maintain its grassroots structure. It has 87 area committees in the constituency each with 100 members. My mathematics tells me of 8.700 potential voters just aligning themselves to UDF.

I am eagerly looking forward to other party’s primaries to assess how they have built their structure!!!

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