Misa Malawi President Theresa Ndanga has called for promotion of media freedom in Malawi as the media is an enabler of human rights.
Ndanga was speaking during a panel discussion on state of media freedom in Malawi organized by the institution held at its Mtolankhani House in Lilongwe.
She said the media should be given a free platform for it to function freely.
She said; “We hope the discussion will offer an opportunity to improve on the strides being made in media freedom in the country.”
Nganga went on to recognize the opening up of Statehouse through ‘Government Meets the Press’ as a good development recently in as far as media freedom is concerned.
She however added that Misa Malawi will continue to advocate for government to repeal archaic laws that are infringing on media freedom.
She then disclosed that Misa Malawi is working on the development of a Journalist Defense Fund to be used in representing journalists in court.
Meanwhile, Dr. Francis Chikunkhuzeni from Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences, who was one of the panelists, said media freedom should be institutionalized in the Ethics and Code of Conduct of different media institutions.
Also present during the panel discussion was British High Commissioner to Malawi, David Beer who said media freedom is important in promotion of democratic discourse.
“People must be allowed to discuss issues freely and challenge government freely. Media plays a crucial role in holding governments accountable,” said Beer.
On his part Minister of Information and Digitalization Gospel Kazako said government also realize the important role the media can play in the country’s development agenda.
“Government views the media as a crucial partner. The media will always be there and government just has to do things right.
“That is why this government swiftly moved to operationalize the Access to Information Act when I was appointed minister,” said Kazako.
Misa Malawi organized the panel discussion in partnership with the British High Commission to Malawi and The Basel Institute of Governance.