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Showing posts from March, 2010

Freedom of Speech and politics of patronage

Freedom of Expression, is guaranteed in the Malawi Constitution, but everywhere from public offices to the private sector, one would feel the country slowly going back to the era of silence. “Some things are better left unsaid,” most argue, following one of the many repressive cultural adages that has created dictators in the past.
Government or someone in Government decided in their own wisdom, that Nation Publications Limited, has exercised free expression too far, according to theories of political patronage, and that Malawians- who includes employees of NPL and pay tax, should not get adverts through the papers.
The tactic used is not a strange one, in the late 1997 or thereabout, the UDF administration were incensed with Malawi News, then a firebrand of investigative journalism, and consequently banned advertising in all Blantyre Newspapers products.
The good thing about democracy, is that it outlasts dictators and political loyalists with misguided visions. Malawi’s democracy triu…

The story of democracy, advert ban and Joyce Banda

This morning I used public transport and one of the passengers asked me what I thought of the on going ban against my newspaper- The Nation. I said he should be asking me what I think about democracy. I told this good gentleman who says is a regular visitor to this blog that I believe strongly that democracy truimphs over anything else. I told him I pray for a stronger democracy and leave to worry about short term decisions to wither themselves. The best examples are Bakili Muluzi era when young democrats pounced on journalists and newpapers got bans left and right. Within five to ten years, with the end of Bakili Muluzi all the excited persons who wanted to destroy press freedom had nothing to show for it. The newspaper survived because as much as the current politicians would want me believe they dont know, Malawians voted for democracy on June 14, 1993. Had Malawians chose a different way, none of them could be sure to be in office today. Democracy the bad news about those that believe…