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No DPP supporters at President’s presser—Misa

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Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi-Chapter has asked the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not to allow its party supporters at a press briefing President Peter Mutharika is expected to hold when he returns from the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly(UNGA).

Government is currently elusive on when Mutharika will be back in the country from the US but some reports indicate that Mutharika will return home on Sunday.

Misa-Malawi Chairperson, Teresa Ndanga, made the call during the commemoration of the International Right to Know Day which was held in Lilongwe yesterday.

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Ndanga said the past two press briefings that Mutharika has had from UNGA were characterised by the presence of party supporters, a thing which created an unconducive atmosphere for journalists.

According to Ndanga, journalists should be in an environment where they can fully express themselves.

“We have seen journalists being threatened after asking crucial questions. At the last meeting, they had to be escorted just to get out of State House.

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“If the President will organise a press briefing again, let it be a pure press briefing in an environment where journalists can ask questions without threats, murmurings or threat of any physical attacks and I hope the DPP government will listen to us,” she said.

Commenting on the development, government spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi, only said they would look into the matter.

The commemoration was organised by the Malawi Human Rights Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology and Misa.

MHRC Commissioner, Patrick Semphere, said access to information is a human right necessary for the enjoyment of all other human rights.

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