Malawians continue to express their disappointment over a story which an online media Platform for Investigative Journalism (PIJ) published on Tuesday claiming that President Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera is named in the infamous Sattargate.
Writing on his face book wall, renowned social media commentator Patrick Manja said the story does not in anyway implicate President Chakwera, warning PIJ risks losing its credibility if it continues with sensational and emotional reporting to please political masters.
“So much hype for nothing,” said Manja.
He added that one of the tenets of investigative journalism is for journalists to “deeply” investigate an issue and no parroting lies without facts.
“Not in my habit to spend hours on burning topics, such as these especially when they haven’t been exhaustively probed but the underline “deeply” also troubled me deeply,” he says.
Another social commentator Charles Mponda said: PIJ Malawi please take note. Most Malawians read and try to make sense of every writing. These narratives are dangerous for the reputation and integrity of a young and promising news platform like yours. Do not let yourself to be
Abusalom Chitukula said on his Facebook page that PIJ was fast losing its credibility and trust because of sensational reporting.
“The headline and the story text are not talking to each other,” he says.
Lawrence Nkhwazi urged the Media Council of Malawi to take PIJ to task for sensational reporting.
“If government decides to take action, some people will think the Chakwera administration is muzzling the press, so let the Media Council of Malawi deal with that issue.
“It is surprising that Misa Malawi has chosen to be silent on the matter. They should have condemned PIJ,” he said.
Reports allege that the PIJ story is a grand scheme from Vice President Saulosi Klaus Chilima to bring Chakwera into the Sattar mess. The reports allege that PIJ reporters are among several journalists who have been “bought” by Chilima to implicate President Chakwera on the matter and divert people’s attention from Chilima own implication is Sattar’s corrupt activities.
Both UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) and Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) believe Chilima received huge sums of money and other gifts from corruption kingpin Zuneth Sattar.